Why You Should Farm Organically?

As our knowledge of the harmful effects of agricultural chemicals grows, more and more farmers and consumers are rediscovering their organic history, returning to the methods of old, such as plucking insect pests and weeds by hand and hoe, and amending soil with natural fertilizers—compost. The joy in growing your own food is the joy in savoring its delicious flavor and in providing good food for others to enjoy. Discover how to rebuild your garden with an organic foundation and produce the vegetables, fruits and herbs that will nourish your family and the families of those who purchase your produce.

The general principles of organic production, include the following:

  • protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health
  • maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil
  • maintain biological diversity within the system
  • recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise
  • provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock
  • prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production
  • rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems

Organic farming promotes the use of crop rotations and cover crops, and encourages balanced host/predator relationships. Organic residues and nutrients produced on the farm are recycled back to the soil. Cover crops and composted manure are used to maintain soil organic matter and fertility. Preventative insect and disease control methods are practiced, including crop rotation, improved genetics and resistant varieties. Integrated pest and weed management, and soil conservation systems are valuable tools on an organic farm

Organic farming presents many challenges. Some crops are more challenging than others to grow organically; however, nearly every commodity can be produced organically.

Related content: Pomegranate fruit Farming: Find Out About Diseases in Pomegranate

Why Farm Organically?

The main reasons farmers state for wanting to farm organically are their concerns for the environment and about working with agricultural chemicals in conventional farming systems. There is also an issue with the amount of energy used in agriculture, since many farm chemicals require energy intensive manufacturing processes that rely heavily on fossil fuels. Organic farmers find their method of farming to be profitable and personally rewarding.

Related Content: How To Become A Successful Grape Farmer in Kenya

Why Buy Organic?

Consumers purchase organic foods for many different reasons. Many want to buy food products that are free of chemical pesticides or grown without conventional fertilizers. Some simply like to try new and different products. Product taste, concerns for the environment and the desire to avoid foods from genetically engineered organisms are among the many other reasons some consumers prefer to buy organic food products.

Organic farming can be a viable alternative production method for farmers, but there are many challenges. One key to success is being open to alternative organic approaches to solving production problems. Determine the cause of the problem, and assess strategies to avoid or reduce the long term problem rather than a short term fix for it.

For more information, kindly visit our offices or call us. Also book your seedlings early enough for the next rainy season!!

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GRAFTED PURPLE PASSION SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=GRAFTED PURPLE PASSION SEEDLINGS" > Passion fruit is a climbing plant of the Passifloraceae family. It is the size of an egg and is yellow or purple. Purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is subtropical, important in some countries, while the more tropical yellow passion fruit excels in others. Both yield delicious juice. The passion fruit vine is a shallow-rooted, woody, perennial, and climbing by means of tendrils. The alternate, evergreen leaves, deeply 3-lobed when mature, are finely toothed, 3 to 8 in (7.5-20 cm) long, deep green and glossy above, paler and dull beneath, and the fruit is purple in color when mature. Commercial farming of purple passion fruit begun in Kenya in 1933 and was expanded in 1960, when the crop was also introduced into Uganda for commercial production. In both countries, the large plantations were devastated several times by easily-spread diseases and pests. The purple passion fruit (passiflora edulis) is the most commonly grown passion for commercial purpose in Kenya. It is mainly grown for fresh and juice extraction.
Passion fruit grows in warm to cool climates within altitude ranging from 1200-2000m. above sea level and minimum rainfall of 900mm per annum. The most suitable soil is medium texture (loamy), which are deep and well drained, with PH ranging from 5.5-7.5.

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PEPINO MELON SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=PEPINO MELON SEEDLINGS" > The fruits is typically a bright green or yellow green and often has some red or purple stations. Mainly grown for its many health benefits and does well in areas where tomaoes can grow, its also profitable to grow in a green house

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APRICOT SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=APRICOT SEEDLINGS" > Apricots must be the most desirable of all the fruit trees to grow and often appear as number 1 one of the wish list. But they are also unquestionably the least hardy of all the fruit trees that may be grown in Kenya so planting Apricot trees requires some thought and planning. Apricots are very early flowering, infact they are the first of all the fruit trees to begin to open their blossoms, by far.
The apricot favors well drained soil but doesn’t like to be too dry especially in the summer. Providing a happy medium between the two will be key to success and it is up to you to judge the type of soil you already have and influence the structure as much as you can. Too light or sandy then pep it up with lots and lots of organic rich material. Too weighty or sluggish then alleviate it with lots of grit, sharp sand and leaf mold.
The soil should be well cultivated and friable; double dig-it over if it has not been cultivated before. Clear away all perennial weeds because the last thing you want is added competition from them when your trees are in settled, and growing.
Prepare a hole large enough to take the roots. Apricots are vigorous growers and you may find the root system larger than that of other trees. Set the tree to the same depth as it was at the nursery previously – examination of the stem should reveal the soil mark still identifiable and this will tell you how deeply it was set in the ground before. In any event the grafting point should sit above the soil level and the roots buried in not less than 2” of soil.

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TISSUE CULTURE BANANA SEEDLINGS

<span data-recalc-dims=TISSUE CULTURE BANANA SEEDLINGS" > Bananas do well from a sea level of 1800M with a minimum rainfall of 1000m per year which is appropriate during flowering. Farmers in low rainfall areas should ensure that irrigation is done throughout. Soils should be fertile and well drained to avoid water logging. After these conditions are met, the farmer should get the plantlets from Oxfarm organic Ltd. Half a month before planting, pits measuring 3feet x 3feet x3feet should be prepared. Subsoil and topsoil should be separated, and then 40 kg of well rotten manure should be mixed with the topsoil along with 200g of fertilizer and 15g of the recommended nematicide. The banana hole should be filled with the mixture, and the plantlets should be planted 30 cm deep in the whole, and the soil should then be firmed. For crops under irrigation, 40 liters should be used initially then 20 liters, three times a week.

Dry mulches should be used to retain moisture while heavy banana stems should be supported to avoid damage. Old diseased leaves should be removed while de-leafing is important to ensure healthy growth. Harvesting begins after 15-18 months, and a light shiny appearance means that the banana is ready for harvest. Harvesting should be delicate to avoid bruising of the bananas. The bananas should be temporarily stored in a cool, dry place and should be wrapped in banana leaves or grass to avoid bruising. If for export, they should be washed using a disinfectant and might require branding.

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