The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Organics: Alternative ecosystem management

 

Amanda Tafolla-Sutton / Sun-Telegraph

Local organic gardner, Stephanie Bruns Dadgostar feeds her bees last winter.

Corn, barley, edible beans, millet, oats, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and other forages are grown and marketed organically in Nebraska.

Organic production is a form of agriculture that relies on ecosystem management and attempts to reduce or eliminate external agricultural contributors, especially synthetic ones.

Choosing to grow crops organically is not an easy choice. Keeping non-organic materials from the soil is an ongoing battle. One grower tells the Sidney Sun-Telegraph why she chose to go organic and what it takes to maintain it.

Stephanie Bruns Dadgostar has been raising crops organically for a few years and she recently began keeping bees as well. Dadgostar maintains a piece of land she calls the Garden of Eat-ith, just outside of Sidney.

"Organic gardening is the best way to ensure folks are getting quality produce without the use of synthetic chemicals," Dadgostar said. "People often use the excuse that organic produce is too expensive and a lot of the time they are correct; however, people can grow their own produce organically for a fraction of the cost."

Cost is also a big turning point for many farmers transitioning to organic. According to long time organic farmer and former Organic Farming Extension Educator at the University of Lincoln, Elizabeth Sarno, farmers are earning more profits from organic farming, due in part to the low numbers of organic farmers and store price points.

However not all farming is for profit, Dadgostar said she farms organically because "she wants the people she feeds to be fed the best possible produce she can grow for them."

Dadgostar said she really found her passion for organic farming "when I started seeing studies stating there were pesticides and herbicides found in our produce."

More tips and information on organic gardening can be found at cropwatch.unl.edu/organic.

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