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Hydroponics

Updated: Mar 24

Levesque’s Organic Farm March 2020 Edition “He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth.” -Psalm 104:14 Welcome It must feel like we are always saying, “Thank you!” and telling you about our gratitude. We hope that it doesn’t ever get old because from the bottom of our hearts, we are truly grateful for your business. Loving Others There’s no doubt that these last few weeks have been challenging, stressful, and downright hard. Many are living in fear of the unknown while others don’t know what is to come of all of this but are trying to make the best of the situation that they are in. There are many families that are trying figure out a new routine while soaking in these days with their babies and loved ones. We also know that there are many families that have been negatively affected by this virus. We want you to know that we are praying for you.

ASK A FARMER Have you ever had a question about farming? Have you ever looked at produce and thought, “What do I do with that?!” Send usthese and any other questions you may have about farming, our operation, or produce in general and we may include it with an answer in our next newsletter. Email questions to levorgfarm@gmail.com and put, “Ask the Levesques” in the subject line. If you don’t wish for your question to be made public, let us know in the email and we will answer your question in a private email. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -John 1:5 Loving Others (cont.) Some people may say that there’s always a silver lining and some might say that there’s always a rainbow after a storm. Whatever you would like to call it there’s one thing that we know, there’s something that is happening in communities across the world – people are helping one another. Amongst the COVID-19 news that is bombarding the news channels and social media, we are seeing more people supporting local businesses, restaurants are offering free meals to children because some children can only get their meals from school, teachers are driving through their student’s neighborhoods with signs of love hoping their students can see through their windows, and grocery stores are dedicating certain hours to the elderly so that they can do some shopping. People are coming together, helping others, and loving others. During this time of uncertainty lets try to look for what may be a blessing in disguise, let’s love one another, and let’s help one another. The Questionable Stance of Hydroponics in Organic Farming. Organic farming has been a part of culture and society since the first seed was put into the ground by man. Of course it was just called farming as there were no chemicals, there were no sprays, it was just man tending his crops with the intent to feed himself and his family. Fast forward to 2020 and we have farms that use everything from chemicals that kill plants to ones that kill insects and funguses. Since some farmers abstain from using these sprays, we as a society have come up with the label of organic. What most people don’t realize is that organic farming has a much lesser known tenant and that is to leave the microscopic environment, the microorganisms, micro nutrients, and general soil health better than it was when you first started farming the land.

The entire practice of Hydroponics is to grow your crops in a water based environment. The roots are submerged in water based environment as opposed to a soil based environment and any necessary fertilizer or supplements are added to the water for direct absorption by the plant. This does lead to fast production, but completely bypasses the need for soil, and therefore there is no way to improve any ecosystem. This may sound like a good idea, and objectively the systems of hydroponics do have some merit of being an effective growing method. However, the subject in question is if the use of hydroponic growing should be considered organic. It is true that a hydroponically grown crop may use organic sprays and applications, it may be grown using an organic fertilizer. The problem, however, is that hydroponics does not involve soil; there for, there is no improvement of soil health. We as organic farmers love the environment, we love nature and the health of the world around us. In everything we do, we try our best to improve the natural world. Yes, we use the land but we make sure that we build the soil more than we deplete it with our farming. We strive to improve the health of the soil, so the soil can feed the crops we grow. The healthier the soil is, the better the plants grow, and the better product we are able to harvest. When we harvest trees for lumber or firewood, we use the selective cut method, as opposed to clear cutting to improve the health of the forest as a whole, and ensure a sustainable ecosystem for the future. With these things in mind, we feel that since the practice of hydroponic agriculture does nothing to improve soil, or nature as a whole, then it should not be labeled as organic, by MOFGA or by any other agricultural entity. PRAYER REQUEST We are a family of believers in Christ and believe in the power of prayer. We are always praying for our farm, family, loved ones, and the upcoming season. We thank God for customers like you daily. We would love to be able to to have an opportunity for you to let us know if there is something that you would like prayer for. It doesn’t need to be specific. We simply feel lead to open the door and let you know that we want to give you this opportunity. Your requests will not be shared to the public. If you would like prayer you can send your request to levorgfarm@gmail.com You will receive an email in return letting you know that we did receive your email and we are praying for you.

There are so many methods of farming or harvesting that take away from the soil, if it’s the lumber industry, agricultural industry, or the fishing industry. High production methods deplete the environment of its recourses, Organic farming strives to prevent that by ensuring that we add more than we take to the ecosystem. If hydroponics is included into the realm of organic farming, it will dilute the meaning and drive behind the organic movement even further. We hope that this article has shed a little bit of light on this current debate. Modern agriculture makes advances constantly, however, it is our opinion that hydroponics just doesn’t belong in the field of organic farming. As we get closer to the opening day for the 2020 season, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out what day we will open and for updates. Thank you for your business and support! ~The Levesque Family

Ingredients: 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped CREAMY CHICKEN TORTELLINI SOUP Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe. A cozy blend of chicken, vegetables, spice, cheese, and tortellini in a thin creamy broth. Lightened-up! Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 32 minutes Total time: 42 minutesYield: 6 Servings 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped 2 cups carrots, sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (2 large breasts) 9 cups chicken broth 8.8 ounces three-cheese tortellini pasta 1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream Instructions: • Place a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chopped onions. Sauté for 3 minutes to soften. Then add the chopped bell pepper, carrots, and garlic. Sauté another 3 minutes. • Add whole raw chicken breasts, chicken broth, dried thyme, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat a little and simmer 15 minutes, until the chicken in cooked through. Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board. • Turn the heat back to medium. With the broth still simmering, stir in the three cheese tortellini. Stir well so it doesn't stick together. Then chop or shred the chicken and place back in the soup.

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