Green Health · Green medicine · Heritage Garden · Organic farming

Why not go organic in the year of International Family Farming

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Aubergine growing at Nature Seychelles’ Heritage (organic) Garden

As the World celebrates World Food Day 2014 with the theme centered around family farming and caring for the earth it would seem natural to turn to organic farming. With the effects of climate change and population growth, there is continued concern about being able to adequately feed the world’s populations. Studies have also shown that organic food is much more nutritious and therefore healthier. What’s more, you can use some of the herbs or fruits you grow for their medicinal values.

fruit on tree
Noni Fruit – Although it is bitter and has a strong pungent smell, noni is used for conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Blend two noni fruit (bwa torti in creole) in a litre of water for a health tonic drink.

The United Nations General Assembly voted to name 2014 as the ‘International Year of Family Farming’. This is a fantastic opportunity for families to create edible landscapes in their home gardens. You do not necessarily have to go uprooting all your flowers for tomatoes and spinach, but perhaps create a patch for some vegetables or a fruit tree. Start small.

Potted lettuce
Potted lettuce

When deciding to create an organic garden, it is also important to choose the right plant(s) for the soil in your compound. “Using good methods is 95% of organic gardening,” says Bob Flowerdew in his bestselling book Organic Garden Basics. “Plants want to grow and will if we give them the right conditions. So choose plants that are suited to their local conditions, and avoid those that present obvious problems.”

Preparing the soil to plant corn at Nature Seychelles' Heritage (organic) Garden.
Preparing the soil to plant corn at Nature Seychelles’ Heritage (organic) Garden.

Indeed, if you live in a tropical climate area, you do not want to buy seeds for plants that thrive in wintery or temperate climate zones. It is vital to do some research and find the right information on what would work best in your garden. “There is no point in trying to grow watermelons in a temperate climate, rhododendrons on chalk or cauliflowers in hot, dry, sandy soil.” says Flowerdew. “Grow plants that are suited to your soil and climate and they will succeed.”

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