Organic Land, Mud and Manure

If a farm is going to be called ‘ORGANIC’ it has to have been free of non-organic substances, such as certain pesticides, for three years before the crop can be harvested. It must also have boundaries or buffer zones to prevent any contact with non-organic substances, such as pollen from a non-organic plant or pesticides from neighboring fields. I certainly wouldn’t want my lovely fresh grass to be contaminated with other people’s chemicals. Ugh!

Boundaries and buffer zones can include things like run-off diversions, so you don’t get rain running from non-organic land onto an organic farm.  Everything inorganic is kept out, including love sick Chrissie Cow, who has been after yours truly for a very long time.  The things Chrissie Cow has done to try and see me....But that is another story.

The farmer has got to look after the soil. He’s got to keep it full of nutrients and goodness and try to avoid soil erosion as much as possible. All this can be done thru crop rotations, covering the crops and the application of plant and animal materials. Yes we are talking poo. Human sewage is not allowed you’ll be pleased to know, but me and my other cow friends make a load of the stuff so why waste it!

If raw animal manure is used it must be used on land used for a crop that will not be eaten by you humans. Otherwise if the crop will be eaten by you guys and the bit that you will eat touches the soil, the manure must be mixed in with the soil 120 days prior to the harvest. If the crop will be eaten but it doesn’t touch the soil the manure has to be mixed with the soil 90 days before the harvest. You guys are so fussy!

If uncomposted plant materials are used the farmer can add nutrients or anything that will improve the soil as long as it is included in the National List of Synthetic Substances allowed for organic crop production. Mined substances can be used as long as they do not dissolve easily. If they are easily dissolved the farmer must follow the rules stipulated by the National List of non-synthetic materials prohibited for crop production.

If composted plant or animal materials are used there is a strict composting process that must be followed. The ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C:N) must be between 25:1 and 40:1. It must be kept for three days in an in-vessel or a static aerated pile system at a temperature of between 131F and 170F. It must then be put in a windrow composting system for fifteen days where it should be kept at the same temperature and turned at least five times.


Fertilizer that contains any ingredients other than those on the National List of allowed synthetic substances cannot be used.

Ash from burning plant or animal materials can be used to enhance the quality of the soil provided it has not come in to contact with any prohibited substances named on the National List of prohibited non-synthetic materials. Burning is not allowed as a means of disposing of crop residues but it can be used as a way of avoiding the spread of disease or to stimulate seed germination. Sometimes the little fellas need help!

Organics is like a club with exclusive memberships.  Everything and everyone that comes in contact with us must be a member of the organic society.

What is Organic?