Saturday, May 17, 2014

Enviromentally Friendly Farming Methods

The poet farmer in two recent articles in the Catholic Times tells us of a farmer who is now in his nineties and wants to make the island of Jeju into an organic farming center. He began a group that espouses correct farming methods: not using pesticides and chemical fertilizers: farming that respects nature and humans.

Our country, he says has asked the farmers for many decades, to increase productivity by using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. There are many who did not listen. Fortunately, the government has changed  and is now actively favoring the organic farmers' movement.

In order to learn more about organic farming the poet along with the old farmer went to Cuba some years ago to learn about their methods. When  Russia was no longer able to help Cuba  and the embargo on trade to the country made the importing of fertilizers and pesticides difficult there was a change to organic farming out of need. They  began  to rely on natural farming methods and with great success.

Pesticides are horrible. There are those that say it is no problem because it disappears in the air. Some say when you spray the small plants it will dissipate as they grow. Is that the case? he asks.  When the pesticides go into the air where do they go? Where does the pesticide go that enters the earth? Rain and snow will bring it to the paddies and the dry farming areas, from there it goes to the rivers and the water we drink.

The farmers knowing how bad the pesticides are, he says, don't  eat their produce that they send to the cities.They are produced for the cities. There are few farmers who will eat produce that has been recklessly sprayed with pesticides.City dwellers have to start changing in what they buy. They have to buy produce that has not been  sprayed with harmful pesticides. There are all kinds of problems that are connected with the use of pesticides. The government has banned many pesticides, and one of the beneficial results is the number of those ingesting the pesticides, as a means of suicide, has  significantly decreased in Korea. This is just one of the many good  results of a ban on environmentally harmful pesticides.

The Catholic Farmers Association, along with many other groups are working diligently to make the produce of our organic farms available to our cities. Results are satisfying to both the farmers and the city dwellers. 

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