Organic Food
Organic Food Production

Have you had any yummy pesticides lately? It is not hard to imagine future generations that someday might look back on our civilization and reflect on why we would spray poison on our food and then eat it?

For good reason, the demand for organic and pesticide-free food has been increasing rapidly! Pesticides are designed to kill living organisms and are therefore also a threat to human health. The National Cancer Institute states that 30% of insecticides, 60% of herbicides and 90% of fungicides are known to cause cancer. And that’s just one negative side effect. These chemicals can also lead to damage of both the nervous and hormonal systems. They upset the delicate bio-chemical balance our bodies need to be healthy.

Children are of course even more vulnerable than adults because kids consume a higher percentage of agricultural toxins in relation to their size. According to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, children fed conventional supermarket produce had 6 to 9 times higher levels of pesticides in their blood than those fed organic foods.

Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, chemical toxins and genetically modified organisms. They’re not only safer, but they’re also more nutritious because of higher vitamin and mineral concentrations. As a result, you get much more for your money (this is the part you and your family will especially appreciate), and organic fruits and vegetables usually taste better than commercially grown varieties.

Some commercially raised fruits and vegetables have been found by the Environmental Working Group to contain particularly high levels of chemical residues like apples, apricots, cherries, grapes, peaches and strawberries - as well as bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, green beans and spinach. These are among the crops we will be growing organically at our Earthworks communities.

It makes both good health and good financial sense to consume organic, pesticide-free whenever possible. This not only includes produce, but also meat, fish, poultry and dairy products. All animal foods are best raised free-ranging, organically fed and free from hormones.

Because of consumer demand, many supermarkets now carry a few organic foods and many restaurants are offering organic menu items. You can also often find pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, and sometimes even organically raised meat, poultry or dairy at good prices from local farmers or through community food co-ops. Earthworks villages will be planting a wide variety of organic food crops.

Future generations may look back in appreciation to those who choose to consume and advocate for poison-free food.

Earthworks Sustainable Research Center evaluates several sustainable agriculture techniques and technologies with statistical analysis of both inputs and outputs for each permaculture approach. We incorporate what we learn from our test gardens into our permaculture plans for our eco-village designs.

Our research facilities have several organic gardens, as well as an orchard and a vineyard where we do ongoing testing programs of techniques, technologies and seed stocks. The vegetable, fruit and herb gardens incorporated into our edible forest landscapes at our eco-villages are designed to meet the needs of our communities’ kitchens, and if desired as part of the community business plan to provide organic produce to the local surrounding communities.

Our latest project required a comprehensive permaculture plan which is still in the works but here are a few examples of some of the features of the plan:

Our primary crops will be native to the local growing zone, but we have also created some micro-climate areas that can sustain crops normally grown in a warmer climate zone.

The plan for this project will include a permaculture edible forest garden, where we integrate fruiting trees with raspberry and blackberry canes, blue berries, elderberries, goose berries, black currents, service berries, high bush cranberries (to name a few), along with a wide variety of symbiotic vegetable and herb plantings.

In terms of nuts, we currently are establishing butter nut, and ginkgo and are also considering adding pine nuts and hazel nuts to the mix.

In our micro-climate garden, we are exploring crops that are not commonly grown in the local growing zone like Papaya and Kiwi, and we are also experimenting with techniques for growing high anti-oxidant fruits like Goji Berries, Sea Buck Thorn Berries, and Rugose Rosa.

We practice and document a wide variety of sustainable growing methods with a wide variety of crops in our experimental gardens, and apply what we learn to our permaculture planning methodology.

Earthworks occasionally runs workshops on organic gardening, permaculture, composting, vermaculture and silvaculture.

 

Take a look at some of the Intentional Communities we have designed.

 

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