The rise of organic farming from a niche into a popular and attractive alternative to intensive farming is one that we have watched with happiness. Here at Downfield Farm, an organic farm in Fife, we take care of our animals and want to give them the best life whilst they are here with us. That means everything from room to roam to healthy, natural food. But do you know what links organic farming and global warming? Recent reports suggest that farming organically could actually reduce global warming and help feed those in developing countries. As an official organic farm, we’re now a part of that fight against climate change.
The rise of organics
It may seem counter-intuitive to think that organic farming can help with global warming. After all, organic produce generally takes up more land than that grown using pesticides and chemical fertilisers. However, there are benefits to be found in organic farming that means our plants can make it through hotter and drier climates.
Manure is used to help enrich the soil on the farm. It gives nourishment to the plants and creates a better growing medium. It also holds onto moisture, something which becomes extremely important during dry spells and heatwaves. By holding onto water for longer, plants can continue to grow until it rains again. As we all know, climate change is going to bring a lot more drier spells in the summer. So being prepared for that is crucial.
Chemical-free agriculture also helps restore soil quality. Organic fertilisers help increase the amount of carbon in the soil. Chemical fertilisers are known to reduce it. Carbon is a really important element to have as it helps give soil structure and fertility. The loss of organic matter in British soils is of growing concern and simply isn’t sustainable. Farming organically is helping to put right what years of intensive farming has done to our land.
The manufacture of synthetic chemicals for pesticides and fertilisers also uses up a massive amount of energy, through factories and transport means. As one of the increasing number of organic farms in Scotland, by not using them at all we are immediately cutting down on our carbon footprint.
Around the world, too, will also see benefits from organic farming. In developing nations where farmers often cannot afford artificial fertilisers and pesticides, the organic way of farming is proving to be effective in increasing yields. Organic farming is helping to feed the world!
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
The emission of nitrous oxide from farms accounts for nearly 40% of agricultural emissions in the EU. This is a huge problem because the impact on the environment of 1Kg of nitrous oxide versus 1Kg of carbon dioxide is 300 times greater.
Organic farming doesn’t use such synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. Rather, natural sources are used, as well as crop rotations to keep plants healthy. By not using such fertilisers, we are reducing the amount of pollution going into the atmosphere.
In Scotland, global warming will be felt by situations like hotter summers and wetter, windier winters. We hope that by switching to an organic method of sustainable farming, we can mitigate some of this and in the process offer delicious meat to our customers.
Organic farming and global warming are both here to stay. Whilst we are all playing our part, you can help both sides by buying your meat from Downfield Farm and enjoying our delicious range of organic, high-welfare meat. Buy online, or visit our butcher shop in Ceres, Fife.