If you are interested in healthy food and responsible practices, you will probably be interested in organic vegetable farming. Forgoing the practices of commercial large-scale farms, organic vegetable farms use practices that are common sense and that have been used since humankind first began planting seeds.
Organic farming is not a fad, but the oldest and least expensive way to grow vegetables. Before farming turned to large-scale, single-crop farming, family farms provided local vegetables. Generally, these vegetables were grown organically--that is, without pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In fact, organic vegetable gardening was the simplest way for the family farm to function. Different crops were grown together, dead plant matter was tilled back into the soil and farm animals provided manure for the gardens. When farming became large-scale, it became easier to use chemicals to control pests and to enhance growth.
Large-scale farming, pesticides and chemical fertilizers all affect the quality of your vegetable. To provide quantity, quality is sacrificed. In addition to possibly compromising your health when chemical toxins are absorbed into your food, non-organic farming produces a crop that lacks the flavor of organic vegetables. Non-organic farming also compromises the soil and the environment by adding unnatural chemicals to the environment and by using up the soil's nutrients without replenishing them.
Organic vegetable farms use a variety of methods. Compost and manure can be used to feed the plants and nourish the soil. Mulch can be used to control weed growth, to keep soil moist, to prevent erosion, to supply nutrients as it breaks down, and to prevent rot when fruit droops to the ground. Beneficial insects can be used to pollinate the plants and to rid the plants of pest insects. Natural deposits of rocks, sand or shell can add minerals and help the pH of the soil.
Organic vegetable farming naturally benefits the soil. When nutrients are added to the soil through compost, crop rotation and mulching, these nutrients feed the plant and the plant puts them into the fruit that it produces. These nutrients are then passed to you as you enjoy an organic vegetable. The rich flavor comes from the amount of nutrients found in the soil that was cared for organically. Therefore, your organic vegetables are good and good for you!
As you become more conscious of your health and more conscious of the environment, you will become more interested in organic vegetable farming. Meanwhile, organic vegetable farming is becoming more and more mainstream. Most supermarkets offer organic vegetables. Organic vegetables can be found at farmer's markets and purchased directly from family farms. Additionally, if you have a piece of land or even a balcony or rooftop, you can start growing you own organic vegetables with a small investment of time and energy.