By Sunnyside

Organic gardening and organics in general have been in vogue for the last few years. US organic-food sales have grown between 17 and 21 percent each year since 1997, and not only have the sales increased, but prices have increased as well. Take a look in your local supermarket and see how much more they’re asking for the organic produce. Could it be that produce grown using organic techniques is better than conventional produce? Could it possibly be healthier and better-tasting? You bet!

“Organic,” to us, means the use of natural, unrefined sources of nutrition for our plants. It also means natural pest control. Organically grown buds are no different from organically grown produce: They’re healthier to smoke and have a much better flavor and aroma. You might get big, huge buds using chemical fertilizers, but are they the best buds you could have produced? That answer is going to vary from grower to grower, but I can tell you with definite certainty: I want the cleanest, best-tasting smoke I can possibly get.

Why microbes?
A great deal of attention is paid to the conditions under which a plant is grown—humidity, temperature, light—but little attention is paid to the life under the soil line. If we focus underground, we’ll have a better understanding of what this plant truly needs. Organic growers have a different approach to growing: Feed the soil, not the plant.

In an organic environment, the root zone is buzzing with activity. Our plants encourage microbes in the soil, just as the microbes encourage plant growth. Plants will release a small amount of their own nutrient supply in order to feed the microbes. In return for the nutrition obtained from the plant’s roots, microbes produce chemicals that stimulate plant growth or protect the plant from insect attack, including auxins, enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and antibiotics. Only with the aid of these little helpers can complex molecules pass from the soil into plant cells with minimal change to chemical structure. There’s a symbiotic relationship that exists between the soil and the plant when we use organic techniques.