"Healthy Soils, Healthy Plants, Healthy People" in Practice
Modern organic farming was developed as a response to the environmental degradation caused by the use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in conventional agriculture. Growing food organically blends the oldest methods of agriculture with recent advances in soil science and a deep understanding of ecology.
Healthy soil is the basis for healthy food production.
Healthy soils are the foundation of the food system. Healthy soils produce healthy crops that in turn nourish people and animals. Through research, it has been determined that soil quality is directly linked to food quality and quantity.
What does it mean for soil to be healthy?
Healthy soil is a living, ever-changing ecosystem, teeming with organisms that perform many vital functions for the planet's success—including storing carbon.
Healthy soils make ecosystems more resilient to pests and disease—in fact, healthy soils harbor an abundance of beneficial organisms that naturally fight disease—eliminating the need for toxic pesticides that would otherwise taint the natural systems at play. Jacobs Farm del Cabo harnesses these environmental services to their benefit.
How do we build this healthy soil?
In organic agriculture, cover crops are plants that are planted to cover the soil, rather than for the purpose of being harvested and sold.
Growing the same crop in the same place for a long time gradually depletes the soil of certain nutrients. Just as it sounds, crop rotation suggests the subsequent planting of a different crop that returns the depleted nutrient to the soil. In addition, mixing things up mitigates the buildup of crop-specific pathogens.
In composting, organic biomass is broken down and becomes food for plants. This not only increases organic matter in your soil but also provides some extra nutrients.
Jacobs Farm del Cabo actively practices all of these sustainability techniques to build soil structure, add nutrients, and help retain water—all of which promote overall fertility and healthy crops!
One of the key tenants of organic farming is controlling pests, disease, and weeds through prevention first—and without relying on toxic, synthetic chemicals.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable, ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on the prevention of pests through a combination of natural techniques such as biological control and habitat manipulation.
The before mentioned cover cropping and crop rotations naturally disrupt harmful insects, breaking up their cycles and stopping repeat infestations.
Jacobs Farm del Cabo also plants flowers, which attracts beneficial insects and birds that prey on harmful insects: we attract the good, which in turn gets rid of the bad.
Instead of using herbicides, weeds are controlled through crop rotation, tilling, hand-weeding, and controlled flame-weeding, which burns off new weed growth.