Check out the results of this study on the biodiversity of organic farms. The study, conducted by a team of UK researchers, examined 180 farms, some organic and some not organic, and turned up the kind of results that might be hard to appreciate if you’re not already an organic farmer or gardener.
“Organic fields were estimated to hold 68 to 105 per cent more plant species and 74 to 153 per cent greater abundance of weeds than non-organic fields,” said their report, to be published by the Royal Society today.
“Organic was estimated to support five to 48 per cent more spiders in pre-harvest crops, 16 to 62 per cent more birds in the first winter and six to 75 per cent more bats.”
More weeds? More spiders? Well, the fact is that weeds can play a role in breaking up the soil, preventing erosion and controlling runoff, attracting pollinators, and creating compost. And spiders are very beneficial predators that can help keep other bugs in check. In fact, as I think about the lovely spiders we’ve had in the garden this summer, I realize I haven’t once taken a picture of any of them. We should photograph the things we value. Look for photos of spiders, coming soon.