While organic gardening has been around since the beginning of farming, it has gained importance in recent years. Read the article to know more.

History Of Organic Gardening

Russell Page quotes, “Garden making, like gardening itself, concerns the relationship of the human being to his natural surroundings”. No lifetime is long enough to explore the wonderful resources of a few inches of land. You marvel at the calmness and patience of the earth, the sweet things that it grows, and the sumptuous crops with untwisted looks. One often wonders what happens to those carcasses, the foul liquid and meat, those dead leaves and roots; does the earth not get sick! The filth becomes invisible, or does it deceive you? Perhaps running a plough through the soil will return the muck up, again on the top. Behold, when you look underneath the soil, there is an awesome heap of compost. The mites crawling in the soil, the beans splitting open through the mould in the garden and the lush green grasses covering the fields amaze you. Clusters of apple buds hanging on the branches, the tinge on the mulberry tree, the golden shine on the wheat grasses, is nothing short of a celestial sight. It is not just chemistry, but the miracle with which the earth gives back such amazing things from the dead and rotten leftovers. The backyard vegetable garden and compost is nothing new. Gardening has been vital for survival. In fact, it is the home gardens that have sustained families throughout the millennium. Read the lines below to know more. 

Interesting Information On Origin & Background Of Organic Gardening
In the early years of the 20th century, people started leaving their family farms for industrialized urban areas. With accessibility to farmers market and grocery stores, there was an abundance of vegetables and fruits. People stopped growing their own food; for those who grew their own food it was a little more than an enjoyable hobby. The invention of modern engines introduced a new era of tractors and other farm machineries. The smaller family farms were replaced by larger farms and multiple crops were replaced by single crops, sown and harvested by machinery. This century also witnessed the introduction of chemical fertilizers. Gardeners and farmers were no longer interested in organic manure and compost. Organic farming and gardening became a lost art as with advancement in chemistry new fertilizers were introduced.  

Organic gardening traces its origin to the start of the 20th century. In the early days, all the farming was organic. Organic gardening became significant in the 1950s and 60s when the era of chemistry came up with some catastrophic results. In the early years when there were no chemicals available, farmers composted manure and used it on plants to keep pests and diseases under control. Development in hybrid seeds and affordability of nitrogen fertilizers made gardening and farming less laborious and more productive. This made life easy for farmers. The influx of chemicals exploded into everyday lives and the agriculture system was no exception. These chemicals proved to be harmful such as DDT and were banned in some countries. Studies showed the harmful effects of regular use of chemicals on people who used it and also on those who consumed products treated with chemicals. 

The term ‘organic farming’ was first coined by Lord Northbourne, which he first described in 1940, in his book that talked about the ‘farm as an organism’. In the beginning of the 20th century, people became vocal about the harmful effects of using chemical fertilizers for gardening and farming. Rudolf Steiner of Germany was one of the first organic farmers who highlighted the relationship between land, humans, and the ecosystem. The British botanist, Sir Albert Howard, is regarded as the father of modern organic farming, who documented the traditional farming practices in India and advertised them as being more superior. 

In the 1950s, the organic movement in the United States got a boost with the help of J.I. Rodale, whose Organic Gardening magazine brought organic farming methods to the masses. In the 1960s and 70s the movement of organic gardening started gaining momentum. In 1972, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) was founded. People started connecting around the world and shared information on organic ideology and techniques. The period of 1980s saw the emergence of organic farming and regulations were brought out. This led to rules and guidelines that are now followed by many countries today. 

More and more land is being farmed using organic methods, and more consumers are buying organic food than ever before. In today’s time, the market for organic products has expanded. This has encouraged the backyard gardeners and farmers to incorporate organic methods for the wellness of the planet, its inhabitants, and its ecosystem. 

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