Superior Soil

Organic Farming Sustains Earth’s Richness




Famed as the happiest country on Earth, the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is now aiming to become 100 percent organic, phasing out artificial chemicals in farming in the next 10 years. Agence France-Presse reports that Bhutan currently sends rare mushrooms to Japan, vegetables to up-market hotels in Thailand, its highly prized apples to India and red rice to the United States.

Jurmi Dorji, of southern Bhutan’s 103-member Daga Shingdrey Pshogpa farmers’ association, says their members are in favor of the policy. “More than a decade ago, people realized that the chemicals were not good for farming,” he says. “I cannot say everyone has stopped using chemicals, but almost 90 percent have.”

An international metastudy published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that analyzed 74 studies on soils in fields under organic or conventional farming practices has found that over time, the carbon content in the organic fields significantly increased. For farmers everywhere, that means organic agriculture results in a richer, more productive soil, with plenty of humus, which is conducive to higher yields.

Peter Melchett, policy director at Britain’s Organic Soil Association, says a primary benefit of a country becoming 100 percent organic is an assurance of quality to consumers that creates both an international reputation and associated market advantage.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Surf to Turf

In places like Michigan and Nebraska, fish ponds are blooming—and making it safe for us to eat farm-raised fish again.

Whole Child Sports

Parents may believe organized sports are best for kids, but free play is actually what makes kids creative, resilient and better problem-solvers.

Choose Happiness

A recent poll found that only one in three Americans are happy. Here are four ways to rise above our troubles and choose to be happy, regardless of circumstance.

Eye Health for Dogs

Blueberries, eggs and garlic may not be high on a dog’s food list, but they go far to protect a canine from serious eye disease.

Yoga Boosts Brain Gray Matter

Compared to chronic-pain patients, yoga practitioners have more desirable grey matter in key brain regions, Duke researchers report.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags