What is Organic Farming?

Written by Jeremy Pickles

Organic farming isrepparttar production of food using all natural methods - avoiding all synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms. Its' core philosophy is that of sustainability or 'zero impact'. The organic farmer seeks to leaverepparttar 145677 earth in its' natural state afterrepparttar 145678 harvest.

The focus of organic methods is on soil quality. Crops are grown without artificial fertilizers and pesticides, and livestock is reared free of drugs and hormones. Proponents of organic food believe it produces food with higher quality and nutritional value than conventional chemical-based methods.

Many countries includingrepparttar 145679 US andrepparttar 145680 EU have certification programs to controlrepparttar 145681 use ofrepparttar 145682 term "Organic". This benefitsrepparttar 145683 consumer by ensuring best practice has been followed. This varies from region to region but includes things likerepparttar 145684 minimum length of time a field can be left free of chemicals before it is allowed to be used for organic farming.

There are many different styles of organic food production but they all adhere torepparttar 145685 same principles:

* no artificial fertilizers or drugs * no genetically modified organisms * prevention of soil depletion * 'biodiversity' -repparttar 145686 growing of a range of crops not just a single species.

One recent researcher found that vegetables inrepparttar 145687 1950s contained more than eight times as many trace elements as modern crops, which he attributed torepparttar 145688 excessive use of nitrate fertilizers. You can read allrepparttar 145689 latest research at http://www.ge-free.com/

Courtyard Gardens Ė Planning Tips

Written by Malcolm Kay

With an increasing tendency for empty nesters, young couples and singles towards higher density inner city living, andrepparttar desire to spend minimal time on maintaining gardens or other outdoor spaces, most new apartments, townhouses and condominiums tend to have only pocket sized backyards, courtyards or balconies. So it becomes particularly important to makerepparttar 145316 most of such limited areas by landscaping and utilizingrepparttar 145317 space inrepparttar 145318 best possible way.

But you donít have to be a professional landscape architect to create an inviting courtyard space - you just have to follow a few basic design principles. Whilst you canít physically increaserepparttar 145319 size of a small garden, you can certainly employ a few visual tricks to createrepparttar 145320 illusion of space.

One important way of doing this is to create a thematic link betweenrepparttar 145321 indoor and outdoor areas. Linkingrepparttar 145322 backyard or courtyard torepparttar 145323 family room or kitchen, breaks downrepparttar 145324 division between inside and outside, makingrepparttar 145325 total area appear larger. To establish this link, try to use paving materials that are similar to those used inrepparttar 145326 house. If you have a tiled area inside, consider extendingrepparttar 145327 same or similar tiles outside. If you have a solid wood or wood laminate floor, one simple solution is to lay interlocking wood deck tiles onrepparttar 145328 external patio or courtyard (see for example www.ezydeck.net). Although such tiles are best laid over a concrete pad, they can also be laid over a level and well compacted gravel surface. And they can be moved and re-laid at will should you decide to changerepparttar 145329 design of your outdoor space at any time.

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