Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Why Organic?

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Why Organic? Because We’re All in This Together

MOFGA encourages organic farming and gardening because their complex and biodiverse relationships benefit plants, animals, soils and the atmosphere.

Plants and animals raised organically are part of an agricultural ecology that includes a supportive, nourishing environment. Nourishing that environment depends on cycling organic materials as locally as possible by feeding soils with animal manures, green manures, composts and/or cover crops generated on or near the farm. It includes caring for soils so that they provide a welcoming home for the earthworms, beneficial microbes and other organisms that hold and cycle nutrients and that help bind soil particles together.

Soils that are nourished with complex organic materials tend to grow healthy, nutritious and flavorful crops – while also holding onto carbon so that it doesn’t become an atmospheric pollutant. Organic systems do not use highly soluble synthetic fertilizers, which can leach or run off readily and pollute ground and surface waters, and can harm beneficial organisms.

Ecosystems rich in diversity also support beneficial organisms, such as parasitic wasps, ladybugs, beneficial fungi and others, that help keep pest organisms in check. Supporting a healthy soil-plant-animal-atmosphere ecosystem benefits all of us.

Organic systems use organically approved pesticides only as a last resort. Those that are used tend to decompose quickly, whereas more-toxic synthetic pesticides (including synthetic insecticides, fungicides and herbicides not allowed in organic production) often persist longer, possibly incurring more harm to beneficial organisms and remaining as residues in soils and on farm products.

Organic farming and gardening methods avoid many of the health and environmental problems that can result from large-scale monocropping and from using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Consumers do not pay at the supermarket checkout to address the health and environmental problems resulting from cheap, conventional products; instead, they pay through environmental cleanup and health care costs. When you support organic producers or raise your own crops and livestock organically, your dollars and your time support a healthier world.