How to Grow Organic Produce Year-Round for Your Biz
Organic foods are produced without chemical fertilizers or sprays, and they use naturally available soil enrichment products. Organic animals are free from genetic modification and are fed with natural feeds. In order to create a business selling organic products, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you make the best out of an organic business model.
Organic Crops for Business
There are a lot of sicknesses associated with the food we eat that is laced with dangerous chemicals. Some farmers move from conventional agriculture where many chemicals, such as fertilizers, insecticides, boosters, and quick ripening are used. In recent decades, more growers have started organic farming, where the food grown is supplied to hotels, restaurants, and food markets that serve customers with organic food.
Organic farming produces nutritious food free from chemicals and protects the environment such as rivers and seas from pollutants from farms runoff. Apart from crops, you can also keep organic animals such as chicken, fish, dairy, and pigs. The animals are fed from farm wastes and grazed in the field, and they are kept from booster vaccines. Both animals and crops can be put in the supply chain as an organic business.
6 Easy Steps to Grow Organic Food
Organic foods are more expensive than non-organic food. This is because organic farming is less widespread. You can take advantage to start growing your organic food and raising organic animals for meat. Your products will get the ready market as more people are turning to organics. Here are seven steps to follow in organic farming.
You can start small and grow big with time and practice. You can start organic farming indoors or outdoors. Where your space is small, you can start by using a garden rack for your organic crops. Some vertical growing rack systems are mobile, allowing you to easily adjust the layout of your growing space at the drop of a gardening sheer. This especially comes in handy as your business grows and different crops are introduced. These racks allow you a lot of flexibility and conserve a considerable amount of space.
Although you won’t be using synthetic fertilizers, you still need to take care of your crops for them to be healthy. Look for the appropriate tools for gardening such as breathable gardening gloves, soil test kit, clippers, compost bin, watering can, and trowels.
Your fresh vegetables need a lot of nutrients to survive. Ensure you have healthy soil, which is good for your food production. Ensure the soil is well aerated and test it for necessary nutrients. If you don’t have a soil testing kit, you can take a sample to an Agricultural Extension officer who will test the PH level and the mineral content for a small fee.
The Agriculture Extension officer can also advise you on the best crop to grow with the type of soil you have or advice on remedies to make the soil more productive. If you cannot have the soil tested, ensure it has a lot of organic matter, also known as humus.
It can be made using kitchen waste such as potato peels, rotten fruits, tomatoes, food remains, and dry matter such as grass and dry leaves. Compost manure is used instead of synthetic fertilizers when growing organic crops. Adding compost improves soil structure and its ability to retain water and other nutrients needed by crops.
Choose the Right Crop
Before embarking on organic gardening, learn about the crops that do well where you are. You can look around your community to see what is thriving or ask an agronomist about the crops or vegetables that do well in your area. You can also check the USDA hardiness zones for a guide on various crops. Always buy stocky seedlings that have few blooms and a root system that is not overcrowded. Once you choose the right crop for your area and apply compost and water, you will likely get a good harvest.
Always ensure you follow the correct procedure while planting. Most plants will require a raised bed. The crops should also be grouped in separate beds. Your beds should leave enough space to walk around when watering and weeding. Planting in rows will promote air circulation and repel fungi.
Where you use racks, ensure the same crops are planted at the same level. You can have flowers on the first rack, then vegetables on the second rack. Always research before you plant to avoid a situation where some crops overshadow others, denying them sunlight or air, causing stunted growth.
Always water your crops in the morning to reduce evaporation. Evenings are not very good because the crops will be damp throughout the night, exposing the crops to bacterial and fungal attacks. Also, water appropriately, not too much or too little, and on the roots, not the leaves. Ensure your crop is weeded regularly and kept free from pests before and after harvest.
Organic farming and business have been embraced worldwide. More farmers need to engage in it to bring the cost of organic food and animals down and encourage people to eat more organics. Doing so is great not only for your pocketbook and health but also for the environment as a whole as you explore natural and safe remedies to fight off pests and fungus while also promoting the best growth possible.