Here are some of the Great Organic Farming Pioneers:
The History of Organic Farming:
Organic farmers utilize crop rotations, cover crops, and natural-based products to maintain or enhance soil fertility. These farmers rely on biological, cultural and physical methods to limit pest expansion and increase populations of beneficial insects on their farm. Because genetically modified organisms constitute synthetic inputs and pose unknown risks, GMOs, such as herbicide-resistant seeds, plants, and product ingredients, like GM-lecithin, are disallowed in organic agriculture.
Organic farming was pioneered prior to 1940 by Sir Albert Howard (1873–1947). Howard, born and educated in England, directed agricultural research centers in India (1905–1931) before permanently returning to England. His years of agricultural research experiences and observations gradually evolved into a philosophy and concept of organic farming
http://www.thefutonshop.com/ Howard's concept of soil fertility centered on building soil humus with an emphasis on how soil life was connected to the health of crops, livestock, and mankind. Howard argued that crop and animal health was a birthright and that the correct method of dealing with a pathogen was not to destroy the pathogen but to see what could be learned from it or to ‘make use of it for tuning up agricultural practice’. The system of agriculture advocated by Howard was coined ‘organic’ by Walter Northbourne to refer to a system ‘having a complex but necessary
He felt that crops grown on land treated in this way resisted
the pests that were rife in the region, and that this resistance was passed
onto the livestock when they were fed on such crops. He felt that
adapting a species through breeding to local conditions was a preferred
method to using chemicals to force a western strain to grow.Howard essentially reinvented the compost pile and propagated methods to
best use the natural resources of India. He studied the root systems of
plants which had been largely ignored as unimportant by botanists,
discovered the mycorrhizae fungi symbiotic relationship with some plant
roots, and especially eschewed the fragmented approach of current
agriculture research which separates soil, crops, livestock and humans.
By 1916 Howard was lecturing that chemical fertilizers were a waste of money, maintaining that organic matter combined with good aeration was enough to allow microbes to provide sufficient amounts of nutrients to feed the world.
in the nation's history, the Dust Bowl, was raging. Caused by prolonged
drought in the early 1930s, 1934 alone saw more than 300 million tons of
precious topsoil blow away.
The Soil Conservation Service was established under him in 1935, with the
primary aim, according to Wallace, "to conserve fertility, prevent soil
erosion and promote good land use.
The Living Soil. Jerome Rodale, a publisher and an early convert to organic farming, was instrumental in the diffusion and popularization of organic concepts
The Living Soil (1943) by Lady Eve Balfour is considered a seminal classic in organic agriculture and the organic movement. The book is based on Balfour's agricultural and medical research, and the initial findings of the first three years of the Haughley Experiment, the first scientific, side-by-side farm trial to compare organic and chemical-based farming.