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An organic lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle, which is why so many people around the world are choosing to go organic. And while it may seem like a more expensive way to live, going organic can actually save you money in the long run because of the exponential benefits it can have on the earth, your yard and your family.
Among other valuable benefits, going organic helps to improve the environment and provide your family with mental and physical benefits, including a decreased chance of accelerated disease.
A great way to adopt an organic lifestyle is to start in your yard and garden.
The fundamental theory in organic gardening is that "nature knows best." The organic gardener starts from the soil, up to care for their lawn and garden - feeding the soil, rather than feeding the plants, creating a rebirth in the life and vitality of their lawn and garden. By rejecting the world of harmful chemical pesticides and embracing and nurturing the ground (and therefore all that springs from it) through techniques and systems that are found in nature, your yard is certain to thrive. It will yield healthier grass, flowers and vegetables, and with much less maintenance.
Those involved in the organic movement seek to live a cleaner, healthier individual existence and in a more earth-friendly way altogether.
Organic farmers and gardeners have a strong commitment to their soil. They know that if they do not abuse the land, it will provide for them and their families for many years to come.
Organic gardening helps to prevent loss of topsoil, toxic runoff, water pollution, soil contamination and poisoning, as well as the death of beneficial insects, birds, critters and other soil organisms. What’s more, there are no pesticide, herbicide or fungicide residues on food, or synthetic fertilizer residuals built into plants and vegetables.
Organic gardening provides for intense, realistic flavors in your food, as well as higher vitamin and mineral content. Increased organic matter in soil reduces erosion, conserves water to aid in drought resistance, and feeds plants the way they need to be fed.
Organic foods have a higher content of vitamins and minerals than do conventionally produced foods, thanks in large part to the nutrients and trace minerals found in nurtured, chemical-free soil.
To support this fact, the Soil Association conducted a systematic review comparing vitamin and mineral content of organic vs. conventionally grown food. It was found that, "on average, organic food contains higher levels of Vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium… The independent review of the evidence found that organic crops had significantly higher levels of all 21 nutrients analyzed compared with conventional produce including vitamin C (27% more), magnesium (29% more), iron (21% more) and phosphorous (14% more). Organic spinach, lettuce, cabbage and potatoes showed particularly high levels of minerals (Cleeton)."
An organic approach is the best way to ensure a "healthy" lawn and garden.
Aside from the obvious physical health benefits of going organic, it also offers many mental health benefits. Spending time in your garden, working with the soil and plants, can be very meditative and peaceful – so much so that organic gardening has made its way into the mental health industry in the form of Horticultural Therapy.
The practice of Horticultural Therapy is a process utilizing plants and horticultural activities to improve social, educational, psychological and physical adjustment of persons to improve their body, mind, and spirit.
In 1973 the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) was created, recognizing horticultural therapy as a professional discipline, which, “trained therapists work with other therapists and medical professionals to help treat physical injuries or disease, mental illness, conditions associated with aging, social problems, and substance abuse."
The principles of organic gardening go hand-in-hand with this approach, shirking chemicals for hands-on, healthy and holistic garden care.
A major hesitation for consumers who consider making the leap to the organic world is the price of organic products.
The cost discrepancy between products created “organically” versus mass-produced items created "non-organically" is mainly a reflection of their respective costs of production. Mass-produced goods are much cheaper to produce, thus cheaper on the shelf. The higher price of organic goods results from the substantially higher cost to produce and distribute them (as well as the overall willingness of the consumer to pay higher prices for a higher quality, more earth-friendly product.
But despite the higher costs of individual organic products, organic gardening can save you money in the long run.
In theory, by improving the health of the soil from which your plants grow, you yield a better crop, providing all-natural food for a family for years to come. Thus, after time you will encounter less money spent in the store for food and items to help a poorly cared for garden. Considered by proponents to be more sustainable, organic gardeners use the concept of ‘feeding the soil, not feeding the plant.’ Using this approach keeps your soil free of chemicals, yielding a bounty of your own nutrient-rich vegetables.
The foremost money-saving technique in going organic is composting. Composting is the "usage of decomposed remnants of organic materials as a soil amendment and a seed starting medium in organic gardening, that reduces land-fill waste by recycling your chemical free grass cuttings and food scraps."
Making compost is an uncomplicated process that uses "waste" from your lawn and kitchen to return nutrients to the soil and the organisms within it, adding to the health and nourishment of your garden.
What’s more, composting also helps you do your part in reducing the waste that heads to the local landfill. "‘One-third of the space in landfills is taken up by organic waste from our yards or kitchens." Landfills are nearing their capacity for rubbish and new sites are getting increasingly difficult to find.
Liken composting to recycling, but instead of cans, glass and newspapers, you are recycling your leaves, grass and food wastes, returning them to the earth in a beneficial way.
source: Compost Guide