LOGI - ORGANICS INFORMATION EXCHANGE:
r From United States Department of Agriculture - Organic Trading Information Center
Organic agriculture is a holistic system with the primary goal of optimising the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals, and people. Management practices are carefully selected with an intent to restore and then maintain ecological harmony on the farm, its surrounding environment and
ultimately the whole planetary ecosystem.
The COGS site offers various definitions of Organic (reproduced here):
r From the Australian Organic Producers Advisory Committee (a widely accepted definition).
Organic Farming means produced in soils of enhanced biological activity, determined by the humus level, crumb structure and feeder root development, such that plants are fed through the soil ecosystem and not primarily through soluble fertilisers added to the soil. Plants grown in organic systems take up nutrients that are released slowly from humus colloids, at a rate governed by warmth. In this system, the metabolism of the plant and its ability to assimilate nutrients is not over stressed by excessive uptake of soluble salts in the soil water (such as nitrates). Organic farming systems rely to the maximum extent feasible upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, mechanical cultivation, approved mineral-bearing rocks and aspects of biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and tilth, to supply plant nutrients and to control insects, weeds and other pests.
r Many people ask for the difference between Permaculture and Organic Growing.
Permaculturalists employ organic growing principles, however Permaculture is much more than organic growing:
"Permaculture is a practical concept applicable from the balcony to the farm, from the city to the wilderness. It enables people to establish productive environments providing for food, energy, shelter, material and non-material needs, as well as the social and economic infrastructures that support them. The concept was first developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in Tasmania in the 1970's, leading to the publication of the book 'Permaculture One'.
Permaculture means thinking carefully about our environment, our use of resources and how we supply our needs. It aims to create systems that will sustain not only for the present, but for future generations." (From the Permaculture International Journal).
"Organic" means produced in soils of enhanced biological activity, determined by the humus level, crumb structure and feeder root development, such that plants are fed through the soil ecosystem, and not primarily through soluble fertilisers added to the soil. Plants grown in such a system take up essential soluble salts that are released slowly from humus colloids, at a rate governed by warmth. In this system, the metabolism of the plant and its ability to assimilate nutrients is not over stressed by excessive uptake of soluble salts in the soil water (such as nitrates)."
r The following definition is from the Organic Retailers & Growers Association of Australia Inc.
"Organically grown food is a term that relates to food that is grown on a certain kind of farm using methods of production that care for the soil and the environment. Food that is further processed is done so under guidelines that ensure minimal chance of contamination and deterioration in food quality. Organic food therefore presents consumers with a perceived set of attributes that align themselves with 'green' or environmentally acceptable production techniques that minimise the risk of contamination from pesticides, and also delivers food that is wholesome and nutritious. Organic food is produced by people that care for the health of their customers and their environment."
r This one is from David Heaton, organic grower in Queensland.
"Organic growing is working with nature, by not applying "chemical pesticides", "fungicides", "herbicides" and "artificial fertilisers" to soils and the ecosystem; and recycling natural material (organic matter) from your domain either by means of composting or as a liquid fertiliser."
Key Words (singly and in combination):
holistic, ecological harmony, natural, healthy, soil, organic matter, enhanced biological activity, composting, environment, people, free from (pesticides etc).
These definitions indicate the basis for the accepted “baseline” understanding of ‘organics’.
Some useful contacts and some of those awkward acronyms and abbreviations:
- also, you could search other key words such as:
v Biological Farming
v Chemical-free growing
v City Farms and Community Gardens
v Conservation farming
v Integrated Crop Management
v Ecological Agriculture
v Edible plants
v Green farming
v Natural Growers
v Self sufficiency
v Soil Association
v Sustainable Agriculture and Land Management
v other issues would include bio-diversity, resource and waste management
- but a quickie on the ‘net’ revealed the following
BDFGAA - The Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association in Australia
BFA - Biological Farmers of Australia http://www.bfa.com.au/
BOGI - Brisbane Organic Growers Inc. http://www.bog.powerup.com.au/
COGS - Canberra Organic Growers Society - check out their “Organic WWW Links” site
http://www.cogs.asn.au/ - NOT TO BE IGNORED!!!
HDRA - Henry Doubleday Research Association (of Australia Inc) » Soil Association of Aus.
also – http://www.organic –research.com
IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Movements (Peak Body) 600 member
organisations - in 95 countries world wide
INFARMATION – General farming information site – great links
NASAA - National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia
http://www.ontas.com.au/nasaa/ - (nothing to do with space - merely looking after this planet)
OFA Organic Federation of Australia Inc. – http://www.ofa.org.au/
QFVG – Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers – http://www.qfvg.org.au/search.htm
Soil Association (UK) - http://www.soilassociation.org/soilassociation.htm
WWOOF - Willing Workers on Organic Farms (an international exchange network)
and if you have e-mail contact – DPI-INFO-SITES-L@LISTS.DPI.QLD.GOV.AU – (upper case) - the ‘Information Sites of the Week’ is a wide ranging ‘pot pourri’ of useful web sites put together by David Meikle – David.Meikle@dpi.qld.gov.au – a great browse!!
This list is not necessarily exhaustive (merely exhausting!) -
Dave Grubb for LOGI