Organic Gardening And Food Values
( Originally Published 1954 )
Food products were cultivated for a long time before scientific knowledge in the field of agriculture was developed. In those days, before chemistry was an applied science in relation to the production of foods, some products were good, some were not, depending on the properties of the soil in which they were grown. Today the farmer has, or may have, a very definite knowledge of how to raise good crops.
Organic gardening is really a very wonderful science, dealing with the production of fruits, vegetables, and grain products of superior quality. What does organic gardening mean?
It means that the soil in which produce is grown is mineralized by decomposed vegetable matter plus lime and other mineral compounds known as "stone meal." I am not a specialist in raising fruits or vegetables, but I have observed the difference between food products grown in poor soil and those grown in compost-fertilized soil. Food products grown in the latter type of soil are superior in taste and other qualities.
Generally speaking, the reader can study differences in appearance and taste of food products from the ordinary market. For example: some peaches taste and look better than others. Those that are more luscious in taste and richer in appearance were undoubtedly grown in a superior soil. Fresh raw carrots coming from southern California taste better and look better than carrots grown in soils on the Atlantic Coast. Apparently the latter produce is grown in poorer soil. Potatoes are another good example: Idaho potatoes and Maine potatoes taste more delicious than potatoes grown on farms that are at sea level.
Vegetables grown at sea level in some parts of this country are produced on farms that suffer from soil erosion. These remarks are based on general knowledge and not on a thorough study of organic gardening.
The reason the subject is being mentioned at all is because there is so much literature on the market and because lecturers on health stress, and even overstress, the specific advantages of organic gardening. Many laymen who are in search of better health knowledge sometimes acquire unnecessary anxieties regarding the foods they buy and eat. Some individuals actually carry their luncheons or dinners of especially cultivated organically grown foods. This type of behavior means that such individuals are carrying a good point too far.
The American food market has abundant supplies of excellent foods. American farmers are very economical. They conserve every bit of vegetation and use it for a properly made compost to mineralize their vegetable gardens and fields.