This site has been created to present the case for organic farming practice with reference to the environmental, economic and public health benefits. It also looks at how modern agricultural practices evolved and at the environmental and economic flaws in modern industrial farming practices.The creator of this site, Barry Green has been interviewed on ABC radio talking about agritourism, organic farming and the Lady Williams apple that originated on his property Boronia Farm . Another interview in June 2012 talked about the reason organic farming will become the norm as the economics of so called conventional farming decline . The site will quote other material and provide direct website links to supporting information including links to businesses providing advice and materials for organic farming.
It could be argued that the wheel fell off of modern agriculture when Justus von Leibig discovered that plants take up soluble nutrients. We started throwing around soluble phosphate and other nutrients and got fantastic growth and so became hooked. As Alex Podolinsky says in Bio Dynamic Agriculture Introductory Lectures Vol 1.
It happens to be absolutely true that plants do need water soluble elements. If it were also true that artificial fertiliser were essential, as is commonly accepted, then one could justifiably ask: how did plants grow before 1845?
In fact, plants have drinking roots and feeding roots, in a natural soil, when the plant needs water it draws water via its drinking roots and uses its feeding roots to select the soluble nutrients it requires that are attached to soil colloids. When we apply soluble fertilizers the plant draws in water and takes on all the nutrients that are floating around in the water. Because the plant grows larger than before we think we are clever, but if people live on Coke and Big Macs they to grow to spectacular size but this does not mean that they are healthy, so too with plants. Plants fed on a soluble NPK fertilizer diet are basically obese so less healthy, and so attract pest and diseases that have evolved in nature to help weed out unhealthy specimens so that only the strongest survive. Having created unhealthy plants farmers are then locked into an expensive spraying program to protect the plants that no longer can protect themselves.
The health of animals grazing pasture grown rapidly with highly soluble fertilisers is similarly compromised. If particular nutrients are deficient in the soil they must still be provided, however organic practices can often make trace elements more available.
As Graham Finlayson of Bokhara Plains in NSW says "I do not believe that we can look to any present government or institute in the world for leadership in this necessary change. The magnitude of world desertification alone, taking but one of our problems, has already grown beyond the power of any human organisation to handle. So great is the problem that now only ordinary people can deal with it - you and I - teachers, farmers, ranchers, tribesmen, foresters, mothers, fathers, business people, or whatever we are outside our institutional identities. We can only do what is necessary by working collaboratively and supporting one another with a vision of a world greater than ourselves."
Organic Farming practices are rather like open source software, the practices are a shared community resource, unlike patented agricultural products which rely on government legislation to enforce payment to the developer of the product. This websites copyleft policy reflects this.