The term “organic” refers to living matter that is produced without the use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or other artificial agents.
The price of organic food is generally higher than that of conventionally grown food as all the nutrients, fertilizers, etc are sourced organically. Yields of organic crops have been found to be about 25 percent lower overall than conventionally grown crops, but this can vary considerably depending upon the type of crop.
Organic farming uses ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers derived largely from animal wastes, plant wastes, and nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Modern organic farming was developed as a response to the environmental harm caused by the use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in conventional agriculture, and it has numerous ecological benefits.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has very exacting standards that must be met for a plant to bear the “certified organic” label. The label “organic” does not guarantee that a nursery product meets the standards of organic certification. Instead, it may refer to the natural ingredients in potting soil such as organic matter.