Musings From The Natural Gardener: Organic vs Sustainability
Most of us tend to choose organic, if the price differential isn’t too much ! But recently I’m beginning to wonder, what is more important, sustainability or organic certification?
Leaving aside the debate as to the provenance of some approved organic treatments, copper sulphate for example, is the lack of an ‘organic’ tag putting us off sensible, sustainable practices ? For example, we start all of our plants in a compost blend of wormcast and coir – full of good stuff and it’s nice and light. We first experimented with this compost ( and then became totally hooked) when we found out these worms were fed on waste paper collected from offices and organisations around Herefordshire (where the worm farm is) plus farm manure, green waste and specially grown comfrey. An ideal way of recycling waste stuff, and fits perfectly with our objective of using ‘Nature’s Natural Cycle’
You cannot get organic waste paper though ! So what’s more important do you think?
We also think that people need sustaining a bit to, that’s why our coir pots, produced from the waste husk of coconuts, are made for us by ladies in southern Sri Lanka. It’s quite a cottage industry too, for the ladies of the area, to collect all of these waste husks but again can we be sure they are all organically grown? (Although the ‘ Sri Lankan Coconut Development’ certifies they are.)
We have decided though that the benefits to the people of a poverty stricken area, the saving in the use of plastic and the returning of stuff back to the soil it came from ( that’s that ‘Nature’s Natural Cycle again) outweighs the benefits of ‘organic’.
Most of what we sell though is, in fact, organic, everything from Neem fertilise ,but if we have to choose between sustainable practices or organic certification – we’re more and more coming down on the side of sustainability.