Organic Farming: Why This Has to Be the Way Forward |

Every super bazaar worth its salt has a section devoted to ‘organic products’ in these enlightened times. While this may be some new-fangled term to the uninformed or the uninitiated, the more evolved consumer understands the wealth of thought and action that has gone into the organic product that sits there.What is organic farming?
Before the advent of synthetic fertilisers and chemical pesticides, all farming was organic. Booming populations required increased food production, and this drove Man to improve on Mother Nature. This resulted in the widespread use of chemicals in farming- not just the production of food grains but livestock rearing as well.Organic farming shuns the use of these chemicals. It also rejects genetically modified organisms and seeds, and the use of antibiotics and hormones.However, this is not the sum total of what the practice entails. It is a holistic system which treats the soil and farming as a living entity; the principal goal is sustainable and harmonious practices which make the human race one with their environment.The advantages of organic farming are innumerable:Soil protection
There is a whole world of living organisms and ‘societies’ in the soil and underground. Organic farming aims to protect all this to prevent degradation of soil. For example, though nitrogen makes up 78.09% of air, it is not available to plants unless it is fixed in the soil. Limited soil nitrogen is a big factor curbing food production the world over. Organic farming uses leguminous plants, like peanut, and their symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria to achieve this.The interdependence of crops to soil organisms is delicate and the harsh use of chemicals destroys this delicate, ecological balance and destroys the soil. Organic methods of farming ensure the wellbeing of the whole.Recycle ‘wastes’
Material that was considered waste like crop residue and farmyard manure, and fish by- products is used to nourish the soil and the crops. This has the two-pronged benefit of being an environmentally safe waste disposal system as well as limiting the production of greenhouse gases unlike synthetic fertilisers and their detrimental contribution to global warming.Maintaining biological diversity
Food production is big business today. Unfortunately, when multi -billion dollar corporations peddle their genetically modified ware, they promote homogeneity and monocultures on a gigantic scale. Experts feel that this results in increased vulnerability of crops to climate change, pests and disease. The policy for fitness in nature has always been to adapt and survive.The other frightening downside to genetic meddling is that the devoted use of a single kind of pesticide that these modified crops encourage might also encourage the development of sinister superbugs and superweeds. This is already a matter of concern.Livestock health is indeed wealth
An organic livestock farmer must integrate systems that accommodate the natural behaviour and health of the animal. This includes access to the outdoors including fresh air, sunlight, and pasture for ruminants like cows and buffaloes, shade, and shelter.Livestock feed must be organic too. The manure produced must be managed and recycled to make the most of the nutrients.Organic livestock farming also turns its back on the use of hormones and antibiotics and other chemicals. For example, hormones used on milch cattle to increase milk production not only harm the animal but have undesirable effects on human health as well. They are suspected to cause early onset of menstruation as well as the development of secondary sexual characteristics in girls. There is also some evidence to suggest consuming such milk causes a variety of cancers like prostate, breast and colorectal.Indiscriminate use of antibiotics leads to the growth of drug- resistant bacteria. This is an ongoing battle even in the present.Ensures the safety of human health
Chemicals used in farming cause great harm to human health. Allergies are at the lower end of this spectrum with cancers at the other.The ill-effects of chemical usage are not limited to the single crop or a particular crop period. They are much more long-lasting, poisoning the soil for many years to come.Groundwater is also affected. Water that runs off these crops also carries these poisons to other water bodies. The use of chemicals is not self-limiting in any way, and it would be foolish to think that it is containable.Preparation of organic products
This is part and parcel of the organic way of life. Great emphasis is laid on careful processing and handling methods to ensure that the end-product retains its organic integrity.No irradiation or chemical pest control methods are used to increase shelf life.In 2012, the American Academy of Paediatrics had warned about the ill effects and life-altering health problems that the continued use of chemical farming methods has, on children in particular. It advised concerted action to protect children from pesticides.It might be though that thoroughly washing vegetables or grain is enough to rid them of chemicals, but this is not the case. Sprayed pesticides and chemical fertilisers ‘sit’ deep in the product, under skins, in the flesh, and ingrained in cereals. Not all of them are soluble in water nor are they so superficial as to be washed off.Homo sapiens are a very self-centred species. Humans feel that the whole of the Earth is at their disposal to do with as they please. This could not be further from the truth. It is time to realise that we are only part of creation and not the whole of it; if we are to inherit the earth, we must leave something to be inherited!There has been increased awareness that the organic way is the path forward. The organic movement may have been a straggler in the early 1960s, but it is fast on its way to becoming a flood.Join the movement and protect the environment, yourself and your loved ones before it’s too late. Buy organic.

Sheepdog Trials and Herding Tests |

Sheepdogs usually are dogs that are descended from a long bloodline of dogs who are instinctive at the herding of livestock. Often these dogs are such breeds as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs and the like. By far the most common breed to participate in this activity is the Border Collie.The Border Collie works in a distinct fashion. He will fix the livestock with an unblinking, almost hypnotic stare, while his movements will be closely coordinated and equally as hypnotic in nature. He can move with lightning speed when necessary but usually he will make his moves in a low crouching movement so as to avoid startling the sheep un-necessarily. He will crouch low, halt, crawl and move forward on command. Sometimes he will inch forwards or sideways only a bit at a time, dropping to the ground and stopping for long periods. His movements can also be lightning fast turns and dashes towards the livestock. He will also move directionally according to the wishes of the herdsman. More often than not, his moves are done without direction of any sort from the herdsman since he usually has been trained from the beginning to herd the animals on his own.All of the herding skill being brought into play is either because of his instinctive ability to work the livestock or because he has been so directed by the herdsman. The herdsman directs the dog with hand signals, low whistles or almost indistinct quiet commands. All this direction of the dog must be quite calm and performed without startling or sending the sheep into a stampede. Every move on the part of both the participants, the dog and the herdsman, is meant to achieve the end result of herding the livestock into a particular location. Every move is also calculated to avoid startling the sheep.Most sheepdog trials will use three to six sheep which will be released into a large enclosed paddock area. Observers may remain outside of the paddock during the competition and often there may be more than a hundred, for the sheepdog trials are quite popular spectator events. The released sheep will mill about as the herdsman comes in to the arena with his dog. When the trial commences, it is the job of the dog, with the occasional direction of the herdsman, to direct all of the sheep through or around several gates and into a final small paddock area, which will then be closed by the herdsman. Usually the event is scored not only on the time that it takes but on the appropriateness of the signals which are relayed to the dog and his response to those signals.Sheepdog trials are one of the most popular events at State and County fairs across the Midwest. Also they are almost always to be found at Specialty Shows of the various herding dog breeds.Many of these shows also hold what is known as a “herding test”, which can be quite entertaining to watch. The herding test is usually an event in which ducks or geese are used as the livestock. The dog must attempt to herd these birds without direction from his owner or handler into an enclosed area. It is surprising the number of dogs of herding lineage who are able to complete a herding test with flying colors, without any sort of direction. It is a testament to the purity of the bloodline and instinctive ability of the dog and successful completion is a coveted reward for a breeder of a herding dog.

Benefits Of Buying Fish Aquarium Accessories Online |

In the past, it required considerable time and effort to find the right type of aquarium accessories by visiting popular fish stores. It required a day or a weekend to travel and explore the latest collection of fish livestock, tanks and other accessories used in these tanks. However, with the advent of internet facilities, it is now quite easy to search and buy livestock and fish tank accessories through various online stores.There are many benefits of buying fish tank accessories through online stores. Some of the most important benefits include the following:Huge Range Of Varieties: One of the most significant benefits of buying fish tank accessories through online stores is the availability of a huge spectrum of varieties. There are many online portals which showcase different types of fish tanks and its accessories at reasonable price rates. It is easy to search and find different products required from different websites. Buying different products from offline stores consume huge amount of time and effort.Cost Effective: While buying from online stores, it is possible to view and compare the price rates offered by different companies. Therefore it is possible to save money by buying at affordable rates. There is hardly any need to travel from one place to another in search of better deals and prices.Impeccable Customer Services: Majority of the online stores offer reliable and efficient customer services. Most people prefer to buy from online stores as it offers spontaneous response and services to the customers. It is also easier than traveling to the fish store to solve technical problems. Most of these stores also offer real time online support to the customers.Prompt Services And Supplies: Another benefit of buying from online fish stores is the exemplary services offered by these companies. Majority of the online stores guarantee a specific time period for the delivery of products. In this way, customers can buy the necessary accessories easily and quickly.However, before buying from online suppliers, it is essential to choose reputed dealers and suppliers for a supply of healthy fish livestock. Many of the websites include product reviews and online forums which will facilitate in choosing the right online fish store or dealer.There are many other factors to consider while buying accessories through online stores which include the guarantee on fish livestock, return policy of the aquarium equipment and cleaning devices. There are online stores which offer bulk fish food at affordable price rates. But it is essential to choose products and companies that manufacture fresh food. Some of the online fish store dealers also offer discount coupons and other attractive offers to the buyers. Fish tank accessories are available in different price rates depending on its specific features. It is essential to choose products which are sold by reputed dealers for better quality and durability.Buying aquarium accessories and fish livestock from reputed stores is among the best and affordable ways to obtain splendid products and services at affordable price rates.