Organic vegetables are produced without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Organic meat and dairy produce come from animals that have not been exposed to antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides or artificial colours.
Organic gardeners work in harmony with nature and use natural systems such as crop rotation, companion planting and composting rather than synthetic fertilizers and harmful pesticides to create a healthy garden with fertile soil.
Why grow Organic Vegetables & Fruit?
- Fresh and readily available fruit and vegetables.
- Get maximum nutrients from your fruit and vegetables - nutrients are depleted during the time it takes for crops to be harvested, transported (sometimes from the other side of the world), stored and finally displayed in the supermarket.
- Spend less on groceries by eating what you grow.
- Know what you are consuming - those strawberries you ate for lunch, do you know how many times they were sprayed, and with what? It's a bitter sweet reality!
- Reduce your carbon footprint - everything that is imported contributes to the carbon dioxide problem worldwide. As a small remote island, everything that is imported into New Zealand has travelled a significant distance.
- Help prevent soil erosion - ammonia and other synthetic fertilizers deplete soil of its nutrients. Fruit and vegetables grown in organic soil have higher levels of vitamins and minerals.
Crop rotation is one of the critical principles of organic gardening and keeps the soil fertile by balancing out heavy feeding plants and light feeding plants.
By rotating where the plants are grown, the soil has time to replenish the nutrients that certain plant families take as they grow. We use a 4-year crop rotation in our raised beds. The rotation also minimises the spread of diseases and pests, as they do not have enough time to infest the soil.
We teach you how to use a simple but effective crop rotation method in our easy-care maintenance pack that every client receives.
Certain plants prosper when planted in close proximity, while others are restricted by their neighbour's growth. Likewise, insects have favourite plants and are repelled by others. The maintenance pack has a companion planting chart that you can follow to get the most from your patch.
Benefits of companion planting:
- Deter pests
- Attract beneficial insects
- Produce excellent crops
- Create a living mulch to minimise weeds
Organic gardeners use a number of ways to deter and control pests and diseases. We do not use chemicals and pesticides, instead we use remedies such as organic sprays, strategic planting, sacrificial plants and barriers. A special chart in the maintenance pack specifically focuses on pests and diseases and has lots of suggestions for you to follow.
Green and brown compost play a major role in organic gardening. Amongst other things they help retain water, store nutrients, encourage worms and balance the acidity in the soil. You can buy compost but we encourage clients to set up their own composting system and worm farm to continue the cycle where organic matter and nutrients are fed back into the system.
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Grow Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden at Home