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Organic? Ecological? Biological? Sustainable? How to measure % ecological

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Written on May 31 2011 02:54
Barbeito
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May 18 2011
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Curiousely, Bordeaux mix (coppersulfate and lime) is permitted in so-called 'Organic' vinyards. We certainly don't use this. It is lethal to many species of invertibrates, not least earth worms, as well as to beneficial fungi. The acceptance of Bordeaux mix, for me, completely invalidates Organic certification. It is certified Organic to spray hectare after hectare with copparsulfate umpteen times per year, every year, but a pinhead of rooting hormone or a couple of slug pellets once in a plant's lifetime confers Organic ex-communication. It's sad that the Organic ideology has been corrupted by agro-political cherry picking.

So how do I measure the % degree to which my farm is ecological?
How much deduction do I get for dipping one cutting in rooting hormone? And for two cuttings? What about putting a slug pellet next to a potted seedling, or should I count how many seedlings came within 2 cm of the slug pellet? Should I then include weed seedlings in the pot?

However I measure, nothing I do on my farm comes anywhere close to the degradation of soil health that I see being dished out in the blue powdery spray liberally applied by Organic neighbours who sincerely believe that they "don't use chemicals" and "take good care" of their soil. Where, I ask the Organic beureaucrat, is the carbon in copparsulfate, how is copparsulfate natural? Those are questions of pedantry. The important questions are how many soil organisms die after each application of Bordeux mix, and how long it takes for soil ecology to fully recover.
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Written on May 31 2011 09:10
felicia
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Apr 15 2007
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http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/principles/index.html

On the link above you find the common answers.

To use limestone is no problem. And I can not see any problem with using limestone from industrial production if it free from any kind of poison. Which depends what kind of process it has gone through. But of course Dolomit or natural limestone is to prefer.

Copper sulphate is poison used towards fungus. I will say it is not correct to use that in ecological farming.

It is better to use natural anti-fungu like:


Plants and other organisms have a chemical defense
gives them an edge against microorganisms such as fungi.
Some of these chemical compounds can be used as
fungicides:
Tea tree oil [1]
Cinnamaldehyde [2]
Cinnamon Oil (essential oil) [3]
Jojoba [4]
Neemolja
Rosemary oil
Milk [5] [6]
Ampelomyces quisqualis AQ10, CNCM I-807 [7] [8]
Some live or dead organisms, can be used for
to effectively kill or inhibit fungi, and thus
used as a fungicide:
The bacterium Bacillus subtilis
Kelp (dried and powdered kelp is fed to livestock for
to protect them from fungus in the grass)

But if the grapes or vegetables will be attacked by fungus or insects or whatever. The soil is bad, the enviromental situation is bad. It is to much mon-culture etc. Something is wrong. It is ok if some procents of the vegetables are attacked and destroyed. That is a kind of harmony. But if it is too much destruction - you have made some wrong. And it can be many things.

Many "ecological" farmers think chemical. That is also total wrong. Look instead at nature. There is balance and harmony.

Som ecolgical rules are not correct. You are allowed to castrate bulls and take away their horns in ecological farming. That should be forbidden. A bull has not much life than to be just a bull. And if you must take away the horns because they can hurt you - lokk for another job. I do not know if the Bordeaux-mix is allowed in ecological farming. If so - the rule is wrong.

Farming can be excological or not ecological. Not 95% ecological.
Written on May 31 2011 10:02
Casalinho
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Dec 30 2008
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We make our own wine using absolutely nothing on our vines or in the barrels other than sunshine and human effort. I could not agree more about the dangers of Bordeaux mix, or the failings of so called organic certification, but these things don't seem to widely known.

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Written on May 31 2011 13:47
drodrigues
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Feb 07 2011
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Barbeito wrote:

... The important questions are how many soil organisms die after each application of Bordeux mix, and how long it takes for soil ecology to fully recover.


This is a very good point. Actually a couple of weeks ago I have inquired the Soil Association regarding a similar situation. I was asking them which requirements should a farm hold in order to become certified. So far, I have not heard anything from them regarding this issue.

I pointed out that when a non ecological farm decides to turn into an ecological farm, there might still be a long way to get there. For instance the use of chemical herbicides remain in the soil for many years after their discontinuation. Without proper decontamination, the organisms and ground waters will continue "infected" for many years until nature can do the cleaning job on its own, which means until get there: the farm is still chemical and not 100% ecological!

So, my conclusion is that even if one follow a decontamination program to clean the soil and is practicing a 100% ecological farming, one should always consider that the neighbors might be spraying their trees and ground with chemicals, which by its turn will appear in the "ecological" farm (by air and water). Not to speak in pollen from transgenic cultures flying to our own fields.

I think there is still a lot to do when it comes to convince farmers moving to ecological production. This can be achieved by means of campaigns, media, etc

I have got a very good feedback from some farmers in my area using Kelp icon_smile.gif
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Written on Jun 27 2011 00:24
Barbeito
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May 18 2011
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Since my initial post, I have learned that the Organic Certification Scheme permits the use of up to 6 kilograms of copper sulfate per hectare per year.

Blue cherries, anyone? They're 'Organic'. I promise!
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