What does it mean to be

What does it mean to be "Organic"?

Maya Krajcinovic

Driftless Dreams Update – What it means to be Organic.

May and June were busy months.  Donny and Tim were busy getting the fields ready to plant.  A lot goes into keeping a farm certified organic, but we would not have it any other way.  When people hear the term “organic” many think that the plant was grown without the use of pesticides.  While that is correct, truly growing something “organically” means relying on the ecosystem rather than external agricultural inputs such as chemicals.  Organic agriculture is a system that considers the potential environmental and social impacts by eliminating the use of synthetic inputs.  Synthetic inputs are not just chemicals that are used in the farming process.  Synthetic inputs include fertilizers, pesticides, drugs for farm animals, genetically modified seeds, genetically modified farm animals, preservatives, additives and irradiation. Rather than using these synthetic inputs, an organic farmer uses site-specific management practices that maintain and increase the long-term soil fertility and prevent diseases.  Overall, organic agriculture is a holistic approach to farming. 

As you may have read from our website, there are four principles of organic agriculture; health, ecology, fairness and care. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) concluded that there was a need to elaborate the basic values of organic agriculture.  The IFOAM stated, “The principles are intended to apply to agriculture in the broadest sense, including the way people tend soils, water, plants and animals in order to produce, prepare and distribute goods. They concern the way people interact with living landscapes, relate to one another and shape the legacy of future generations."

The four Principles of Organic Farming are:

  • Organic should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plants, animals and humans as one and indivisible.
  • Organic farming should be based on the living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
  • Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to common environment and life processes.
  • Organic farming should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well being of current and future generations and the environment.

How does that translate into what Donny does on the farm? Stay tuned to find out when the next blog is posted!