Though in its is still very much in the start-up phase, it is the intention of the Sands at Nomad's farm to be as organic as it can be.
What is organic farming?
'Organic agriculture can be defined as: an integrated farming system that strives for sustainability, the enhancement of soil fertility and biological diversity whilst, with rare exceptions, prohibiting synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, and growth hormones'. (Wiki)
|Red leaf basil - munched|
However sometimes trying to stay organic can be difficult, especially when one is watching your crops being eaten by a pest such as Slugs, Snails, Grasshoppers, White-fly, Aphids, Caterpillars.. the list goes on.
On the Sands farm we are having an issue with the recent boom in grasshoppers which have hatched with the arrival of the rains. Despite efforts with Neem leaf mixes sprayed on the veggies and the beds we are still seeing more damage than we are happy with. (even for organic produce)
A couple of the ways we are hoping to counter this current upsurge in grasshoppers is by cutting back the grass to remove their food source near the farm planting beds and also by using a naturally occurring predator, Frogs and Toads.
|Adding an Aquatic system|
Recently we finished work on the pond at the Sand's farm. By creating this pond we have brought a different habitat into the system which will then boost the diversity of species found on the farm so moving towards a 'sustainable, balanced system'.
Within days of the pond being ready frogs and toads had mated and laid their eggs. We were about to add some Tilapia fish to the pond to control the Tadpoles but then we had the Grasshopper hatching. Noting that frogs and toads are a natural control method for the grasshopper problem the addition of the fish was delayed to try to ensure the survival rate of the Tadpoles is higher so hopefully meaning we will have LOTS of frogs leaving the pond to find food.
|A Tadpole explosion turning to Frogs|