Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Naturewise Grows

Staghorn and Live Oak by Fran Hardy copyright
Graphite and watercolor on fixed and varnished panel
48" x 42"
to see more of my trees go to http://www.franhardy.com

One of the creative people we interviewed in our south Florida documentary from the Creative-Native Project Series was Kari Ruder, owner of Naturewise Native Plant Nursery. She told us that because of our show there was a noticeable increase in customers who were inspired to come to her nursery. This was very gratifying for us because we knew our show had reached people and delivered the message. Kari as the education director of the Florida Native Plant Society also arranged a lot of other interviews and locations for us in her region of Florida as well as taking us to an elementary school where she assists them with an innovative gardening program. 
To see clips from our Florida program on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJd5DX1BMac
Above is a link to the Florida Native Plant Society whose aim is  preservation, restoration and conservation of Florida  native plants and ecosystems.

We hope 'down the road' to do an another documentary in the Creative-Native Project Series on northern and central Florida which is very different from south Florida. We received this enthusiastic email from the Florida Arts Council.

Good morning Fran, 
I learned of you yesterday by receiving a phone call from the Arts Education Director in Oklahoma. When he mentioned your name, it did not ring a bell, however the creative native project reminded me of something. After researching the You Tube video, which is beautiful by the way, and reading your resume, I realized your connection to us was through the Individual Artist Fellowships and a grant Brevard Art Museum had for Culture Builds Florida in 2009/2010. Needless to say the news of the “Artist Process” spread like wild fire through the office generating much excitement. We have posted a link to our Facebook Page for the video and will do a feature story soon on this. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Florida-Division-of-Cultural-Affairs/31574928078    Our Director remembers working with you several years ago on an exhibit in the 22nd floor gallery at the Capitol.

I am interested in learning how the documentary came about that ran on PBS through WMFE in Orlando? Is that something that can be shared with WFSU? I look forward to hearing back from you…

Very excited to happenstance across you. Amazing work!! 

Laura Lewis Blischke
Arts Administrator
Accessibility Coordinator/Arts in Medicine/ Healthcare Coordinator
Florida Department of State / Division of Cultural Affairs

Here is some great news from Kari. If you visit you will find her incredibly knowledgeable.

Naturewise is Located at The Green Marketplace 
2295 Adamson Rd., Cocoa, FL 32926 | Phone: 321.536.1410 | kari@naturewiseplants.com

We're Moving!!

The Green Marketplace will be moving in July!

We are very excited to announce that The Green Marketplace will be relocating to another farm just up the road from our current location on Adamson Road at Country Eight Farm!
Kari (Naturewise) and Mary and Tim (Hise Farms) have decided that it's time to grow our business and we have found a nearby farm that can help us do that. We want to provide our customers with more produce, farm products and more opportunities for classes, workshops, and meet and greets with farm animals. Country Eight Farm (Dave and Sandi) declined our offer to move with us, and will set up their own farm stand on their property (current home of the marketplace). You may continue to visit them to purchase eggs, dairy goat products, and produce.
Stay tuned for more details about our new location, partners, hours, products and more in our upcoming newsletters.
Visit www.naturewiseplants.com to see their monthly newsletter and find out about the farm they are moving to. 


Monday, May 30, 2011

Editing a documentary takes far longer than most people think.......

See Bob behind the scenes as always making this happen!

So we came back from Oklahoma with over 10 hours of footage from 21 days of filming which takes about 40 hours to input into the editing system. I am finding that most of the people I talk to think the shooting is the major part of the work on a film or documentary but this is not the case. A feature film may be shot in 30 days and then edited for a year before it is ready for release. On our documentary it will easily take Bob 150-200 hours of editing to put this piece together. Quality shooting is important but it is in the editing room where the magic really begins. Choosing what footage to 'leave on the cutting room floor' was what they actually did with film where pieces of film used to actually be physically cut out. Now feature films are working more with digital information for the rough cut to pick which takes they are going to use.
Video assist allows them to get this information.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_assist    For the techies among our readers! I resume our story below this technical info. 

Video assist is a system used in filmmaking which allows filmmakers to view a video version of a take immediately after it is filmed.
Originally a small device, called the video tap, was installed inside a movie camera that allows (with the addition of a monitor) the director to see approximately the same view as the camera operator, and thus ensure that the film is being shot and framed as desired. This is done by using a small sensorchip (similar to ones in consumer camcorders) inside the viewfinder. On modern film cameras, the assist is fed off abeam splitter, which splits the beam between the optical viewfinder and the video tap. The light enters through the lens, and hits the rotating mirror shutter, which bounces the light to the horizontal ground glass. The beam splitter is directly over the ground glass and turns the light again 90 degrees, and projects it onto the chip of the video assist camera - through its own lens system. The chip, together with its electronics, lens system and mounting hardware is the video tap, and was commonly called video assist until the video assist industry grew large.

Modern Video Assist

Nowadays, video assist is a name of a complex system, consisting of monitors, recorders, video transmitters, video printers, matrices and hundreds of yards of cables. The video assist crew - the video assist operators - are in charge of moving, operating, and troubleshooting the whole system which can easily fill a medium-sized truck. Their job is to run cables from all of the several cameras used on the show to a central location - often referred as the video village - where the directorDPscript supervisorart director and several other crew members sit. When cameras are in unreachable locations, on the move, handheld, or steadicam-mounted, wireless transmitters are often used.
All the camera connections coming into the video village go into the video trolley. These come in several shapes and sizes and are often hand-built by the operator based on his/her own preferences and the needs of the show. On the cart are the video recorders, the most important equipment of a VA op. The cart usually holds a video matrix, for making quick interconnections, several small operator's monitors, a video printer, all the wireless receivers, speakers, computers, laptops, digitizing boards, UPSes, and a bunch of small tools. The camera images are then fed to the larger monitors for the director, and sometimes for a second array of monitors for the producers, clients, etc. More often than not the Director and DP request a smaller, more private monitor set, and then the second array can be watched by everyone else. Video is often fed to make-up trucks, production trailers, or separate monitors around set for cuing stunts special effects of puppeteers. A complex video assist can have up to 20 monitors depending on the number of cameras used. Wireless handheld monitors are often used so the Director can be close to the artists. On-board monitors, mounted directly on the camera, helps the Focus Puller to follow the shot.
On steadicam and remote head or crane operation the viewfinder and beam splitter is often removed because its not needed. Then the full image is projected onto the video tap, making the image twice as bright, and hence better quality (lower noise). In these cases, even the camera operator uses a video monitor to operate the camera.
Though the quality of the a video assist feed can vary greatly based on both the camera and the assist, it is always used as guide and nothing more. Because the assist has its own controls for exposure, contrast, focus and color correction, it is not possible to use it to learn anything more than the frame lines. The video assist camera is usually significantly lower in resolution than the film camera as well, so critical focus is still usually determined by distance from the lens to the subject via a tape measure.
Comedian and director Jerry Lewis is widely credited with inventing this system,[1] although some similar systems existed before Lewis first used a video camera to simultaneously film scenes with the cinematic cameras during production of The Bellboy in 1960.

[edit]Video assist on electronic cameras

While the traditional video tap no longer applies to modern CCD based cameras, large-scale productions with HD or SD cameras still use video assist in its wider meaning. In this case, the video signal is fed from the camera's own video output, and is a significantly better quality than the original video tap technology. HD cameras can output HD-SDI video signals, which, when presented on a high-grade calibrated monitor, is an almost what-you-see-is-what-you-get quality. Because the video cameras are often less tolerant of images with high contrast and quick light changes, and their behavior is harder to foresee than a film camera, DPs shooting HD cameras are often found in darkened tents, watching expensive HD monitors to make sure the image is captured correctly. This situation is getting better as newer cameras tend to simulate film gamma curves better.
We are shooting digitally so we don't need to reformat from film to digital. And by the way some feature films are now shot on very high-end video cameras. It is still a long process for us to complete the documentary. Before we even go out to shoot I spend about 40 hours researching subject matter, individuals and places we want to visit. Then we make up a rough schedule of where and when we want to shoot. Then we need to schedule with all the individuals and places. Things always come up on their schedule or ours that makes us have to reschedule continuously although generally we can stick to our schedule once we have it all booked and we are on the road.
Then we start booking lodging at all the locales we will be visiting at places that will be conducive for hauling all our equipment in and out, close enough to the location and comfortable so we can get a good night's sleep for challenging days. There are always 'curve-balls' that get thrown our way even with thorough planning. I will talk about them in another blogpost.....makes for some good stories....and keeps us on our toes. 
Then when we return Bob begins digitally inputting into his editing system which will take about 40 hours with this amount of footage. Once it is inputted he digitizes the footage into quicktime movies, organizes and names every clip and puts them into folders so he can access them without going through all the footage again. He will spend at least 10 hours listening to music and soundtracks. Music does a lot more to create mood and feed our emotions as we watch moving images than most people think about. Take the music out and often the drama we feel as a viewer is not as strong. We will also in this documentary be researching and contacting musicians who have Oklahoma related songs etc. For instance we want to use some Choctaw and Caddo music in their segments. Of course we always have to make sure we have permission as copyright is an issue. 
Then Bob begins editing and laying the footage he likes on a time line, listening and cutting extraneous footage as he goes. He inserts what is called B-roll which is footage shot to fill in interviews and other parts of the documentary to keep it filled with interesting imagery. For instance just a talking head as we would call an interview is very dry without other footage cut in over their dialogue. We always need to make sure we get enough B-roll when we are at locations. Sometimes for instance with an artist we may insert footage of their work, their studio  and sometimes even imagery derived from hi-res jpgs. When we interview a Nature Conservancy Preserve director we will put in lots of footage shot at the preserve over parts of his interview. This keeps the visuals moving and interesting to the viewer. Bob has an incredible eye and ear for putting all of this together and except for telling him what must be in the show to keep the content as I want it occasionally I leave this process up to his eye altho we do both sit together and discuss segments as he builds them. The other component is to create what we call voiceover of me talking to link the segments together. Often also we shoot introductory segments of me working in my studio and talking which brings it back to my artist's process as I introduce and talk briefly about each person we visit and place. These are very short but it takes a lot of shooting and reshooting to get a 'take' that we both like. 
Then in the final process Bob does color correction often punching up the color to be more vivid as we believe our mind's eye sees it. It used to be that lighting and color could not be changed and now post-production contains a lot of color correction and enhancing of lighting through the new computer programs. So now you can see why Bob and I are nowhere near done and will be working through the summer and into the fall to finish our documentary.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lauren Camp serves up "Audio Saucepan"

From the Blog 

Why am I showing you a picture of stir-fry?
Today I am going to direct you to the blogspot of my friend, poet and fiber artist Lauren Camp who will be one of the creative individuals featured in our New Mexico documentary from the Creative-Native Project series. We hope to have funds raised and begin filming next year. Lauren wrote an incredible poem called "Rock" which is as she says is also very challenging to read and you will see why. Her husband David said "How are you going to read this poem?" Well put a challenge before Lauren and expect results. This just spurred her on as a creative challenge and she went to the studios at KSFR and recorded herself reading it wonderfully. Never even hint to a true artist that they can't do something. But David knows that too as he is a fine woodworker, editor, graphic designer and now has reinvented himself as a book keeper. And by the way if you are looking for a book keeper he is meticulous....
Most of us are working on reinventing ourselves in some way during these challenging times. I know in myself it has helped me to discover and hone skills I never knew I had as co-producer, on camera personality, researcher in the Creative-Native Project series while I continue creating my trees and installations in the studio.
So back to Lauren......
"Audio Saucepan" which I believe has just received syndication is a wonderfully innovative one hour radio show on KSFR http://www.ksfr.org  Her show airs on Sunday nights at 5pm mountain time, 6pm central time, 7pm eastern standard etc
You can listen to live streaming if you are out of the KSFR listening area and I highly recommend it.
Lauren really mixes it up with unique juxtapositions of music and poetry. And if you think you may not be a fan of poetry believe me this is radio experience as you have never heard it before so try it!
And the other fun thing is you can go to her blog and get a taste of the show to come as well as lots of interesting content about writing etc. This week's radio show is the Mouthful of Mousse Episode, now how can you resist that???!!
http://laurencamp.com/whichsilkshirt/   Lauren's blog......

Sidemen, 2001, mixed media on layered fabric 61" x 60"
Copyright Lauren Camp

This is from her 'Fabric of Jazz' series that has travelled to various venues extensively.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Searching for the Wild River Cane

Ever since Dr. Ian Thompson, Choctaw Archaeologist told me about the endangered river cane I was fascinated to see it. I'm afraid my pictures do not do it justice. The Choctaw and other tribes have numerous uses for it. It used to be in swathes three miles long as far as the eye could see along the water's edge and was called cane breaks. Maybe because it was so dense? We found stands on Jim Stephen's land near Antlers, by the Museum of the Red River, along the Illinois River in Tahlequah, and at the Little River Wildlife Refuge but they were all small stands. I am told it is the only native american bamboo.
Early explorers in the U.S. described vast monotypic stands of Arundinaria called canebrakes that were especially common in river lowlands. These often covered hundreds of thousands of hectares. These have declined significantly due to clearing, farming and fire suppression.[2][3] Prior to the European colonization of the Americas, cane was an extremely important resource for local Native Americans. The plant was used to make everything from houses and weapons to jewelry and medicines. It was used extensively as a fuel, and parts of the plant were eaten. The canebreaks also provided ideal land for crops, habitat for wild game, and year-round forage for livestock. After colonisation, cane lost its importance due to the destruction and decline of canebreaks, forced relocation of indigenous people, and the availability of superior technology from abroad.
Ethnobotanists consider cane to have been extremely important to Native Americans in what is now the Southeastern United States before European colonisation. The plant was used to make structures, weapons, fishing equipment, jewelry, baskets, musical instruments, furniture, boats and medicines.[6] Arundinaria gigantea, or river cane, has historically been used to construct Native American flutes, particularly among tribes of the Eastern Woodlands. The AtakapaMuscogee CreekChoctawCherokee, and other Southeastern tribes have traditionally used this material for mat and basket weaving,[7] and the Chitimacha and Eastern Band Cherokee still widely weave with rivercane today.
Food uses include flour, cereal, and even "asparagus" of young shoots; however, caution should be used whenever foraging for cane as, the extremely toxic fungus Ergot(Claviceps spp.) has been known to colonize the seeds. Ergot-infected plants will have pink or purplish blotches or growths about the size of a seed or several times larger.

From the site above here is some information about how Contemporary Choctaw use the river cane in their baskets.

Rivercane (commonly spelled both ways, rivercane and river cane) plaited baskets are one of the oldest and best-recognized example of Choctaw traditional craft. 

When a  basketmaker today searches for, harvests and prepares their river cane, they use the same methods as generations of Choctaw basketweavers did before them.  However, most take what they need from modern technology and innovation, but retain the traditions that are important aspects of Choctaw life.

Commercial dyes such as RIT have replaced the natural vegetable dyes of old, allowing a wider range of color choices and as a result, more complexity and interest in the pattern designs. Basketry styles have changed somewhat, too. 

New and personal improvements in the weaving design are used to reflect modern-day times. At one time, baskets were made to be used in the field to gather produce and in the home as storage. Modern basket styles often reflect their original functions.  Ribbed egg baskets were originally designed to collect fresh eggs safely.  Modern laundry baskets are a modified farm basket.  And the every popular bushel basket was originally designed to hold fresh produce from the field. 
Choctaw basket making begins in the Spring with gathering river cane - a distant relative of Bamboo. This is an arduous task, since river cane grows in damp, swampy areas and is increasingly difficult to find. The taller cane is most prized as less harvesting and preparation is needed by the weaver.

Once the cane is cut, the basketweaver uses a small, sharp knife to slice the thin skin (top) layer into strips. A skilled craftsman can obtain four to six strands from a single piece of cane. 

The next step is to dye the cane strands. Originally, basket makers used natural materials such as berries, flowers, roots, or bark to color the cane. When commercial dyes became widely available, they gradually came into use and are used almost exclusively today. 

Basket makers create a variety of patterns by weaving together the colored and natural strips of cane. While traditional forms such as the egg basket and traditional patterns like the diamond design are common, many basket makers like to experiment with color, pattern and shape. 

Choctaw baskets are prized by collectors, especially the double-wall weave. This technique produces a basket that has two sides, joined by inter-weaving the base and at the rims resulting in a basket that is both exceptionally strong and beautiful.

This basket was done by a Cherokee basketmaker from river cane.

A small stand we found at the Little River Wildlife Refuge near Broken Bow, OK

Historical Uses of River Cane

At one time river cane was an essential resource for the Cherokee and other southeastern tribes. One of the most valued native artifacts is the river cane basket. They occasionally command prices in the thousands. The double weave river cane basket is among the hardest indigenous skills to learn. These baskets are so tightly woven that they were sometimes used to protect tools from rain. Some archaeologists believe that the art of river cane basketry has existed for 6000 years.
The splits were also used to make mats for floors, walls, sleeping and for burials and cremations. They were used to build wattle and daub houses, as well. The river cane “wattles” were woven horizontally among wall posts to form the initial structure. The “daub,” or chinking, consisted of mud and grass pressed into the cane.
Weapons were critical for food and protection in tribal life, and river cane was critical for constructing weapons. The best arrow shafts were made of river cane, because it’s strong and light. Before the bow and arrow, cane was used to make atlatl darts. The atlatl is one of the most primitive projectile weapons, consisting of a spear thrower and a six foot spear, or dart, topped with a heavy stone or bone point. Though other materials such as wood were used, the flex and strength of cane made it perfectly suited for the task. Besides the crossbow, atlatl darts were the only thing that would penetrate plate mail armor. Spanish conquistadors were alarmed to find that their breast plates were useless against them.
The blow gun is another weapon made from river cane. It requires relatively old and thick stalks for its construction. The guns are generally four to eight feet long and ½ to 1 inch thick. Nowadays the nodes of the cane are usually drilled out or burned with steel bits specially made for the purpose, but traditionally they were drilled with a stone bit affixed to a spindle of narrow river cane. Blow guns are very effective for hunting small game such as rabbits and squirrels, and they are still in use today.
Native tribes sometimes caught fish with river cane fish traps and fish spears. The traps were similar to the wire minnow traps we are familiar with. River cane warps and wefts were woven into conically shaped baskets with a small entrance which allowed fish to enter but not escape. The spears were crafted of cane shafts. The ends were either tipped with pronged points or the cane was split to form three or four sharpened spikes. They were usually used to spear fish in shallow water or fish that had been corralled in weirs.
Some tribes even made knives from river cane. The cane was split, shaped and heat treated to make it exceptionally hard. River cane contains silica, the main component in glass, which helped to make the knives effective for shaving. River cane also made good drills for boring holes in rocks. Spindles of wood tipped with river cane bits were spun back and forth by a bow while pressure was applied to the top of the spindle. The cane bits were used with sand to abrade holes. The silica in the cane also contributes to the sanding process, leaving a smooth, clean hole.
Flutes and pipe stems were made from river cane, and river cane flutes are still common today. The holes were traditionally drilled with stone bits.
River cane was also a source of food for indigenous peoples. The tender shoots were gathered and prepared much like bamboo shoots. They were eaten in stews and salads. When river cane flowered, the seeds were collected to be cooked later.
Since prehistoric times river cane has been used for torches. The torches were made by bundling several lengths of cane together, and then beating the ends into feathery tinder so they would catch fire easily. Remnants of burnt river cane torches have been discovered in ancient caves along with char marks, made when the burnt ends were tapped against cave ceilings to knock off the ash.
Restoring Native River Cane
River cane is an easy plant to propagate. It’s usually just a matter of letting it spread. Like other bamboos, it spreads by rhizome, or rootstock, though it’s not invasive like non-native bamboos. The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) is successfully managing a river cane restoration project along the Little Tennessee River near Franklin, NC. They are currently experimenting with different planting techniques to determine what works best. Dennis Desmond, Land Stewardship Coordinator for LTLT, says transplanting cane by digging it in clumps, keeping the entire root ball (as opposed to bare-root) seems to work the best. It should be planted in moist, rich soil. Transplanting usually works best in late winter-early spring.
Planting River Cane
Planting native river cane at Chattooga River Farm.
We have just begun a river cane restoration project onChattooga River Farm, the Chattooga Conservancy’s new sustainable agriculture project. Our plan is to eradicate kudzu along a creek and replace it with native cane, which will serve as a stream buffer and eventually as a source of planting stock for other restoration projects and for use in native crafts. The project will take place in several stages with the help of volunteers. Check our website atwww.chattoogafarm.org for updates on our progress.
Please consider starting your own restoration project if you have land suitable for it. You can also help by encouraging the Forest Service to eradicate non-native invasive autumn olives and to let river cane take its place. Send postal mail to:
Robert Jacobs, Regional Forester
USDA Forest Service
Southern Region (R-8)
1720 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30367
Phone: 404-347-4177

This link also talks about projects to restore river cane which is not only endangered but it also threatened by non-native species.
[ Canebrake Restoration ]
Canebrake restoration projects throughout the southeastern U.S. focus on restoring habitat, ecosystem function, and plant materials available for Native American artesians. The restoration of canebrakes enhance habitat for other critically endangered species, including Bachman's warbler. Other parts of the world are using bamboo in restoration of ecosystem function. Canebrakes have several important and unique attributes important for water quality. They are able to increase soil porosity and enhance infiltration of surface water due to the interwoven system of rhizomes and roots and dense culms which disperse and decrease velocity of overland flow uniformly across the ground surface ( 10, 12 ). This combination of attributes demonstrates the vital role this plant community can play reducing sedimentation and non-point source contamination, while the stabilizing of stream and river banks.

Choctaw River Cane Baskets

Three Weavers
Double Weave

Another excellent site for those interested in learning more about Choctaw Basketry....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Closer to the Earth Gardening Project Part Two: At the Community Gardens

After Rachel showed us around the Closer to the Earth Farm we headed with her over to their community gardens. There she introduced us to Allen Parlier, Coordinator of the Closer to the Earth Youth Gardening Program. The interview with Allen brought together in such a succinct way all of the principles we are trying to convey with our Creative-Native Project. 

Allen Parlier and Rachel Kastner who coordinate the CTE program

The neighborhood was in a downward spiral before the gardens with drug dealers and and boarded up houses. The residents who lived in the neighborhood were from very diverse backgrounds and countries
and were isolated by the crime in the neighborhood. As the community garden began to flourish people came out of their homes and began to participate as well as planting gardens in their own yards that reflected the foods of the countries they came from and sharing them with the neighborhood. Over time the revitalizing force of the garden and its ability to bring people of the neighborhood together made the community strong and the drug dealers left as they could no longer instill fear into a united community. I found this extremely inspiring as we think of gentrification as bringing up a neighborhood but that includes driving out the original residents as it becomes too expensive for them. This is such a healthy and sustainable way to reinvigorate a community while keeping its core residents there. All that change from gardens!

At the Community Garden

I saw no boarded up houses and the gardens are an oasis-like green park within the neighborhood.

A youth in the program working with the compost

They not only have the gardens but also 6 blocks of highway median next to it. Each block is planted in Oklahoma native plants which represent six different ecosystem in Oklahoma. They also turned a vacant lot into a min-forest with a healthy understory of native plants. I found a beautiful sycamore there that I'm sure I will be painting for my Oklahoma installation at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in 2012.

Youth working in the highway medians, planting and maintaining

Bob and I getting ready to film in the community garden woods

This is such a great story. To find out more about it go to their blog.

To learn more about how you can do organic gardening go to the link above.

Organic horticulture is the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants by following the essential principles of organic agriculture in soil building and conservation, pest management, and heirloom variety preservation.
The Latin words hortus (garden plant) and cultura (culture) together form horticulture, classically defined as the culture or growing of garden plants. Horticulture is also sometimes defined simply as “agriculture minus the plough.” Instead of the plough, horticulture makes use of human labour and gardener’s hand tools, although some small machine tools like rotary tillers are commonly employed now.
Double Digging,[1] Vermicompost, Mulches, cover crops, compost, manures, and mineral supplements are soil-building mainstays that distinguish this type of farming from its commercial counterpart. Through attention to good healthy soil condition,[2] it is expected that insect, fungal, or other problems that sometimes plague plants can be minimized. However, pheromone traps, insecticidal soap sprays, and other pest-control methods available to organic farmers[3] are also sometimes utilized by organic horticulturists.
Horticulture involves five areas of study. These areas are floriculture (includes production and marketing of floral crops), landscape horticulture (includes production, marketing and maintenance of landscape plants), olericulture (includes production and marketing of vegetables), pomology (includes production and marketing of fruits), and postharvest physiology (involves maintaining quality and preventing spoilage of horticultural crops). All of these can be, and sometimes are, pursued according to the principles of organic cultivation.
Organic horticulture (or organic gardening) is based on knowledge and techniques gathered over thousands of years. In general terms, organic horticulture involves natural processes, often taking place over extended periods of time, and a sustainable, holistic approach - while chemical-based horticulture focuses on immediate, isolated effects and reductionist strategies.
Organic gardening systems
There are a number of formal organic gardening and farming systems that prescribe specific techniques. They tend to be more specific than, and fit within, general organic standards. Biodynamic farming is an approach based on the esoteric teachings of Rudolf Steiner. The Japanese farmer and writer Masanobu Fukuoka invented a no-till system for small-scale grain production that he called Natural Farming. French intensive and biointensive methods and SPIN Farming (Small Plot INtensive) are all small scale gardening techniques. These techniques were brought to the United States by Alan Chadwick in the 1930s.[4] This method has since been promoted by John Jeavons, Director of Ecology Action.[5] A garden is more than just a means of providing food, it is a model of what is possible in a community - everyone could have a garden of some kind (container, growing box, raised bed) and produce healthy, nutritious organic food, a farmers market, a place to pass on gardening experience, and a sharing of bounty, promoting a more sustainable way of living that would encourage their local economy. A simple 4' x 8' (32 square feet) raised bed garden based on the principles of bio-intensive planting and square foot gardening uses fewer nutrients and less water, and could keep a family, or community, supplied with an abundance of healthy, nutritious organic greens, while promoting a more sustainable way of living.
Organic gardening is designed to work with the ecological systems and minimally disturb the Earth’s natural balance. Because of this organic farmers have been interested in reduced-tillage methods. Conventional agriculture uses mechanical tillage, which is plowing or sowing, which is harmful to the environment. The impact of tilling in organic farming is much less of an issue. Ploughing speeds up erosion because the soil remains uncovered for a long period of time and if it has a low content of organic matter the structural stability of the soil decreases. Organic farmers use techniques such as mulching, planting cover crops, and intercropping, to maintain a soil cover throughout most of the year. The use of compost, manure mulch and other organic fertilizers yields a higher organic content of soils on organic farms and helps limit soil degradation and erosion. [6]

Other methods can also be used to supplement an existing garden. Methods such as composting, or vermicomposting. These practices are ways of recycling organic matter into some of the best organic fertilizers and soil conditioner. Vermicompost is especially easy. The byproduct is also an excellent source of nutrients for an organic garden.[7]
Pest control approaches
Differing approaches to pest control are equally notable. In chemical horticulture, a specific insecticide may be applied to quickly kill off a particular insect pest. Chemical controls can dramatically reduce pest populations in the short term, yet by unavoidably killing (or starving) natural control insects and animals, cause an increase in the pest population in the long term, thereby creating an ever increasing problem. Repeated use of insecticides and herbicides also encourages rapid natural selection of resistant insects, plants and other organisms, necessitating increased use, or requiring new, more powerful controls.
In contrast, organic horticulture tends to tolerate some pest populations while taking the long view. Organic pest control requires a thorough understanding of pest life cycles and interactions, and involves the cumulative effect of many techniques, including:[8]
• Allowing for an acceptable level of pest damage
• Encouraging predatory beneficial insects to flourish and eat pests
• Encouraging beneficial microorganisms
• Careful plant selection, choosing disease-resistant varieties
• Planting companion crops that discourage or divert pests
• Using row covers to protect crop plants during pest migration periods
• Rotating crops to different locations from year to year to interrupt pest reproduction cycles
• Using insect traps to monitor and control insect populations
Each of these techniques also provides other benefits, such as soil protection and improvement, fertilization, pollination, water conservation and season extension. These benefits are both complementary and cumulative in overall effect on site health. Organic pest control and biological pest control can be used as part of integrated pest management (IPM). However, IPM can include the use of chemical pesticides that are not part of organic or biological techniques.[9][10]