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Organic or Conventional? That is the question...

I'm a fan of a Vegetable Gardeners page on Facebook, and am always happy to see my fellow Texans displaying their fresh produce there. Recently the moderator stepped in and said something to the effect of being nice and respecting each others' opinions regarding different growing methods. This shocked me because I had no idea there were such differences of opinion on the matter of growing organically or using conventional methods...or why anyone would be up in arms about someone else's choices!

Ike & Eli's Organic Farm grows organically by using organic, non-GMO seeds, organic soil and homemade compost, and the use of natural materials which are chemical-free for gardening purposes. That means that our produce comes in a lot slower and is typically smaller than conventional foods, but because it's not our sole income, we're okay with that. We farm organically because it aligns with our zero-waste lifestyle, and because we just think it's groovy to do so. However, after our organic butterfly garden experience in 2010, we did practice our farming with conventional methods and enjoyed the results just as much as we do now. Check it out!:

Here is organic fennel and pineapple sage with Chompers, our caterpillar. (We actually named all of the caterpillars Chompers, so he could've been a later generation.) When butterflies are attracted to plants and lay their eggs, the plants go kaput from the caterpillars eating them. Great for organic living, but bad for garden aesthetics!

Now, here is a picture of Ike with a zucchini that was grown using conventional methods:

And some cherry tomatoes grown conventionally. As you can see, there is no physical difference. (And I can tell you...I didn't really taste a difference either.)

The basic differences between organic and conventional are the uses of pesticides and herbicides to protect the plants from bugs or disease. Sometimes conventional growers use items such as Miracle Grow to increase the speed and size of the produce. This can get into the soil and cause harm in the long run, but as long as you're testing your soil seasonally and adding nutrients, you should be a-OK.

Our philosophy is do what you need to do to increase nutritional eating at home and save money doing so. If you have time and desire to garden organically, great. If you're on a time crunch or feeding a large family, conventional gardening may work best for you. Either way you choose to garden, you're deciding to have optimal health for you and your family. We're happy to help you decide what's best and get you started!

Till next time,

Dallas Farmer Gal

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