Author Topic: Organic or Not  (Read 3963 times)

RSJK

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Organic or Not
« on: January 22, 2004, 12:09:58 »
Hello all once again, Ihave just been looking how the other side is doing, (the bbc) shame on me, there was a question on there about getting rid of brambles on a newly taken over allotment, the advice from someone went like this  l do not use chemicals myself because l am organic......but in this case l think you will have to use them... which got me to thinking why do people sit on the fence, if you are organic you should stick to your beliefs and not say things like ..but in this case.What are your views on this.
                                     8)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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Organic or Not
« on: January 22, 2004, 12:09:58 »

aquilegia

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2004, 12:16:41 »
My garden is totally organic. I compost everything I can. Use natural fertilisers. Don't use any chemicals or peat. I try to recycle as much as possible, never throwing anything away if it can be reused somehow, and am an avid skip diver!

I'm not a fence sitter. I don't see the point in taking a stand, but only when it suits you. It's incredibly hypocritcal. If you have principals, stick to them, otherwise what's the point?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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tim

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2004, 12:50:16 »
As you will have seen, Richard, there's been plenty under the Whitefly heading.

As an onlooker, I feel that there are several different stances.
1. Go for a chemical-free soil in the interests of structure.
2. Use no dangerous pesticides in the interests of health.
3. Both, if you want to declare yourself 'organic'.

As I've said before, I've banned all poisons - using predators, and/or 'organic' treatments, especially for brassica. I do use inorganics in gro-bags, because structure doesn't matter there, and I see no danger to health.

Someone said yesterday that their dad grew wonderful things without being organic. Of course he could - the more you spray the cleaner and more predictable the crop. Like lettuce - 13 times, isn't it? Once again, the s'markets are setting an unfortunate goal - the more perfect fruit & veg you eat for health, the more the danger. Wonder what the Observer Food magazine will have to say this w/e? = Tim
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Ceri

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2004, 15:21:06 »
I do grow as Richard, Aquilegia and Tim, but I personally don't think I could call what I'm growing 'organic'.  

I think it is virtually impossible to be truly organic (if you accept the SA's standard as the definition of organic) in those terms - I don't have enough rain water stored (no shed to collect from) so use sometimes use tap water which is treated (and has flouride in my area).  My garden and lottie neighbours are not organic so there is potential wind transfer.  Peelings from fruit and veg that I buy that are not organic (I wish!) go on the heap.  For me, its about what is realistic for me in terms of 'best organic practices', not about fence sitting or being hypocritical.  

I also think that it is a big step for people who are changing over from using non-organic products to gardening organically so perhaps they are doing it in stages, and should be given positive feedback, not damned as hypocritical.  

Principles are dangerous things to quote in my (very humble) opinion.  On 'principle' I keep to the laws of the land - but have in fact gone a teeny bit over the 70m speed limit at least once in my lifetime.  Yes, that probably does make me a 'hypocrite', but I've yet to meet a single person who hasn't broken a single principle in their adult life!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

aquilegia

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2004, 15:31:34 »
Quote
I think it is virtually impossible to be truly organic... I don't have enough rain water stored

oops - well I'll admit it - I am a hypocrite then. My shed is too close to the fence to fit a gutter onto so I don't have a waterbutt. Slappedwrist for me.

And after much thought after my very dogmatic post earlier, I think it really does depend on why you are organic, as Tim says.

I'm organic because I think man has already poluted the planet too much, so in my own little way I'm bringing balance back to nature, or at least the little bit of it I own.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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flowerbaby_uk

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2004, 15:46:20 »
Glad to see some one other than me admit to being a skip diver :)fella walks away quickly when we walk past skips as he thinks I am an emmbarrasment  ;D as to the organic debate think we all have different oppinions on what is organic, have various thoughts on this but will not babble on but would like to say if we carry on using chemicals etc the  way we are then this planet is not going to survive am sure lots disagree and say what? a bit of mosskiller is not going to do owt  but  it all contributes to the ruin of our lovely planet
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Ceri

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2004, 15:52:23 »
Aquilegia - please don't think I was being mean - I wouldn't slap your wrist for all the tea in china (maybe for all the coffee beans in Brazil though!)

Flower - I am a complete skanker - I was working at property before Xmas, and the lady next door was having double glazing fitted - guess who got very nice sized wood-framed glass for making coldframes with this year!!!

My husband said he would start calling me a skip-rat - but apparently this means something very rude in the Durham area, and we are only up the road!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

aquilegia

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2004, 15:53:46 »
Quote
Glad to see some one other than me admit to being a skip diver

I love it! I hate the idea of all the landfill sights getting fuller when I could make use of the stuff. And it also saves me a bit of money. Only trouble is when I find stuff somewhere that is too far from home for me to carry (I don't have a car). I found a load of old bricks, long, thick bits of wood and several logs yesterday - just what I'm after, but I was 45 mins by public transport from home.  :'(
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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aquilegia

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2004, 15:56:00 »
Quote
Aquilegia - please don't think I was being mean - I wouldn't slap your wrist for all the tea in china (maybe for all the coffee beans in Brazil though!)

don't fret Ceri. I actually realised I was being mean by being far too pragmatic in my original post and I hadn't even thought about the water issue before. oops! Well done for taking me down a peg or two!

And I can't wait until we have our windows replaced - then I can have a coldframe!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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tim

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2004, 19:32:02 »
Never thought about the water business - that's really getting down to the nitty! We do have 7 large butts but the g'house is on auto-feed  from the mains. Not that that will spoil my sleep, any more than the fertiliser that goes into it.

In turn, I do what little I do do to minimise the risk for the grandchildren. I buy organic where possible to support the small producers. We need them.
And I buy 'fair trade' goods wherever they exist. Glad to see the CO-OP are running them. Not brilliant in other directions!! = Tim
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:01 by -1 »

Mrs Ava

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2004, 21:03:42 »
hmmm....well, I don't claim to be an organic gardener, but I do not use chemicals for a few reasons.  
Firstly, so I know nothing about the various chemicals on the market or what they do!  
Secondly, I believe whole heartedly in good old mother nature, and I figure that if the balance is right, then you should not really get an infestation of something, however, I appreciate there is little you can do about clubroot and white rot and other scary things, but, call me niaive, if I had those things in the garden or on the plot, I would grow other things, or try things out, but chemicals wouldn't come into the equation.  
Another reason is, the kids, hubby and I like to pick the fresh produce, and with lots of it, scoff it there and then.  I don't mind the kids eating a greenfly or two, but it is nice to know that the strawb or whatever aren't covered in something awful.  
And last, but by no means least, I am mean!  I don't spend money where I don't have to, the family are more important.  I love to recycle and use what I have got, make my own compost etc, rather than line the pockets of B&Q buying chemicals.

HOWEVER!  I use slug pellets!  I always try to get the critter friendly pellets, but I cried my eyes out when all my delphiniums were eaten down to the ground!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

gavin

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2004, 23:09:44 »
Ouch!  

Richard, I can only think you're talking about my posting on brambles (it's here on a4a, not the beeb).  And with respect - you are (I hope!) misinterpreting what I wrote (tried to write?).

If I give the impression that I was recommending chemicals, I would like very quickly to suppress that interpretation.  Fortunately, further down the thread, fingle read what I wanted to say!

And I'm not a "fence-sitter" - at least where "organics" are concerned.

And it's not only a matter of principle - on occasion in the first 18 months or so, I "let principle slip a little(?)" in the interests of solving quickly a short-term problem.  And perhaps I have been extremely lucky, in that any chemical short-cut I used was quickly and obviously worse than doing the job organically.  Yes, there's principle, but there's also observation and experience.

I wonder what your response would have been, Richard, if I had launched into a passionate, "super-SA", organic spiel?   Would you have come back with a reply along the lines of "totally unrealistic, one-sided, dreamer, never seen a real bramble patch in his life"?  Or "organic gardening" = "lazy gardening"?  Perhaps I'm being unfair.

Do I sound a little tetchy?  Sorry, all!  

I do wish that the phrase "organic gardening" didn't set us all off into paroxysms of argument!!!  (Yes, I know - I've fallen for it too).  And also, that it didn't set us off into automatic acceptance of soil association guidelines - which apply to (I think) commercial producers, and protect consumers from the games that supermarkets and ad-men play!

Tim's gentle definitions?  Yup, I go for that!

All best - Gavin
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2004, 02:01:15 »
I try to be as organic as i can, but i dont declare to be totaly organic. I will use certain articicial things if absolutely nessesary (tomato food, lawn weed and feed etc) and do use peat based composts (its all i can get localy) and tapwater for watering plants (but only when the rainwater butt runs out).

i do though try to compost or recycle as much as i can in home and garden, and prefer a natural non chemical approach to pest control (either let the beneficials deal with it or use manual methods of removal). As a consequence I have a good well balance ecosystem in the garden, and an abundance of wildlife.

As to feeding plants in the garden, i use organic fertiliser (in moderation) and garden compost to improve the soil, as a result i find plants more resistant to both drought and frost.

There, cards on the table.  Unlike those who choose to sit on the fence i am straightforward and honest in my gardening philosophy.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:01 by -1 »

Ceri

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2004, 10:24:24 »
I'm adopting Piglet's term (whitefly polytunnel thread) of 'natural gardener' - seems to sum it up perfectly
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budgiebreeder

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2004, 11:05:31 »
Why oh why do these people who make such a wwhoooo ha about organic etc. ride around in cars ,even to their allotments and back.Polluting the atmosphere and burning up the worlds recources ususally one person per car.?????
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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Ceri

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2004, 11:28:25 »
probably for the same reason we all have fridges and freezers.  To be fair, a lot of people live a long way from their lotties these days - luckily I can walk to mine unless I'm taking loads of heavy stuff with me - haven't got a shed there yet.  My job dictates I have to have a car - but I try and limit the damage by minimising non-essential miles, checking emissions regularly and keeping it well serviced.  All my modern, energy using appliances are the best rating for energy efficiency.  I also recycle my stuff and my company's stuff as much as possible.  I think unless we can all go and live in tepees in Wales we all do some damage to our environment - the trick is minimising it, and encouraging manufacturers to do the same - buying greener is the only way - the pollution my car causes going to the lottie is so little compared to the pollution created by car manufacturers et al.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Piglet

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2004, 20:37:06 »
Thanks Ceri - I do think Natural Gardener somes up the process better. Working in harmony with mother nature  :D
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gavin

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2004, 23:28:52 »
Another "ouch".  Budgie-breeder - shame on you!  ??? ??? ???

Quote
these people who make such a wwhoooo ha about organic ... ride around in cars


Of the three vegetable growers with aspirations to being organic (to varying degrees) on our site, none have a car.  Of the non-organic growers, all but one have cars.

What is it about that phrase "organic growing" that winds us up?  Organic growers don't have a monopoly on hypocrisy, bad gardening practice, car ownership, or anything else - honest!!!!!  

Am I being unfair in noting aspersions cast on organic gardeners?  And on the placatory and peace-making contributions from people who are trying to be as organic as they can be?  Come on, lads and lassies - we can be a bit more even-handed than that, surely!  And a bit more careful in the way we talk of each other?

Ohh s**t, I'm being tetchy again!

All best, Gavin (really quite laid-back and easy  :) :) :)  )
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

campanula

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2004, 00:09:04 »
truly, i hate the organic/non-organic issue. I mean, i thought organic meant alive?? I know all the reasons for making whatever decisions are made and i also know that principles are sometimes an inaffordable luxury. As for nature reaching a natural equilibrium, well frankly, that is rubbish - there is nothing natural about my garden or allotment - it is 100% artifice and control and manipulation of 'nature'. Maybe you can allow a few plants to be munched by slugs, but not when your garden is the size of a hanky! I guess what I am saying is that you have to square things with your own conscience, purse and circumstances without inflicting grief or scorn on those who do things differently. So, no, I do not use chemicals....so far. If my beloved 'Madame Gregoire Staechelin' rose got terrible rust or mildew, well, I am not so sure. Best not to be too certain about what the future holds and how you will deal with it. Stay flexible.
suzy
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »

SueT

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Re: Organic or Not
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2004, 00:18:11 »
I live in an area that is heavy with `organics`, and very flakey some of them are as well!  To my way of thinking there is nothing new about the organic lifstyle, it`s just that these people are new to it.  I live in a rural area where folk have gardened organically for generations and it`s a way of life to them.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 00:00:00 by 1077926400 »
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