Agriculture is the art of cultivating plants and livestock based on science. Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system created in the early 20th century to sustain the health of soils and ecosystems. Currently, organic agriculture accounts for 70million hectares globally with more than half located in Australia. Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms and growth hormones.
Organic horticulture focuses on enriching the soil, minimizing damage to the ecosystems, conserving biodiversity, and maintaining environmental quality. The principal goal of organic agriculture is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
Organic agriculture protects and converses clean water. Since many of the core practices of organic horticulture include building soil organic matter, planting cover crops, spreading organic mulches, and maintaining areas of perennial plants and trees. This helps the soil absorb and retain water, reduce runoff, and help recharge underground aquifers (the Rodale Institute reports that organic fields hold more water during droughts and that 15-20% more water seeps down to the aquifer under organic fields than does under conventional fields).
The use of slow-release fertilizers that do not wash away helps avoid any interference to the balance of nature. The avoidance of man-made toxins, further recommends organic farming as a powerful part of creating healthy, resilient watersheds.