CCOF Organic Activity and Coloring Book

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Transcript of CCOF Organic Activity and Coloring Book

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My name is Adam and Im a CCOF Certified Organic Farmer. Id like to welcome you out to the farm to teach you all about Organic food and farming. If you dont know about Organics, dont worry! Ill explain everything as we go along.

Hello!

To start with Organic Farmers believe in the use of renewable resources. They protect the soil and water so we can keep our environment healthy. Since 1973, CCOF has been supporting organic farmers and ensuring the quality of organic foods. CCOF has produced this activity book to teach you about where organic food comes from. To learn more visit www.ccof.org. Organic Farming is a way to produce healthy and delicious foods by using natural farming methods. Organic foods are grown and produced without the use of antibiotics, synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, sewer sludge or bioengineering. Today, many farmers are making the switch to organic (maybe even in your own city)!! Organic food is good for the environment, local businesses, farms, and especially YOU! Organic food supports healthy people and a healthy planet. Come find out just how we do it!

Super SoilHealthy and fertile soil is the cornerstone of organic farming. Soil does more than just provide a material for plants to grow in. It has other amazing qualities that affect plant growth too. Here are just a few of the physical qualities of soil: Besides physical properties, some of soils most important characteristics are its chemical properties. Different soils have different amounts of available mineral nutrients in them. These nutrients are taken up through the roots and are essential for a plants growth and health. Think of them like the important vitamins that we humans need to stay healthy. Some common nutrients found in the soil are:

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES1. Soil water holding capacity determines how much water can be held and is available to plants. 2. Soil provides a physical shield against various toxins that can harm plants. 3. Soil texture and structure aide in plant respiration (breathing).

Calcium

(Ca)

Nit

ro

ge

Magnesium (Mg )n (N )

Phospho

rous (P)

Potassiu

m (K)

Nutrients like Nitrogen and Phosphorous help plants grow bigger and faster. Potassium can protect plants from diseases, Calcium strengthens cell walls, and Magnesium is needed for growth. Organic farmers use natural methods to control the levels of nutrients in their soils. No articial fertilizers are used. Instead, we have millions of little helpers that keep the soil healthy and fertile. You will meet them on the next page!

5 Question: Non-organic farmers rely on articial fertilizers to put more Nitrogen and Phosphorous into the soil. Why is articial fertilizer use a problem? Circle the correct answer.It runs off into oceans, rivers and streams It releases gases into the air.

A The nutrients (N&P) make algae grow. The algae uses up lots of the oxygen that sh need to live. The algae blocks sunlight from reaching underwater plants and can be toxic to some sh.

B These gases are known as greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, NOx). These gases are known to cause global warming. Some of the gases cause smog and air pollution.The correct answer is A and B! Articial fertilizers can do all of the above.

Conservation, a Birds Eye ViewOrganic farmers understand that biodiversity is key to their success. This does not just mean variety in food crops. Organic farmers are very active in increasing the diversity of wild plant and animal species on the farm. They know than an organic farm is not just a place to grow food, but also a habitat for many other living creatures. All of these creatures create the healthy environment that a farmer needs to grow food. Organic farmers plant and maintain wild areas that contain diverse wildowers, grasses, trees and shrubs. These areas are perfect homes for many species of insects, birds and mammals.

Organic farms are great places for birds to live because there are no toxic pesticides to harm them. Large birds, like owls and hawks, are important signs of a healthy environment. Organic farmers help these special birds by creating bird boxes for them. Bird boxes provide nesting sites and homes for birds like the Barn Owl. The Barn Owl helps the farmer by eating rodents- like mice and gophers- who damage crops.

Busy BeesPollination is the transfer of pollen between male and female owers. The act of pollination is very important for plants to produce seeds and fruits. But who does all this hard work? BEES, of course!! Bees travel from ower to ower to search for nectar and carry pollen with them as they go. Some of your favorite foods, like watermelons and cherry tomatoes, need bees to pollinate them. Honeybees and bumble bees are the most commonly known pollinators. Thanks to them, we enjoy delicious fruits, nuts, vegetables and honey!! Sadly, many bee populations in North America are decreasing. Native bees -those who originally live in a given area- are especially in danger. Habitat loss, toxic pesticides and herbicides are surely to blame. Many bees are poisoned by toxic pesticides while visiting owers on farms. Some pesticides kill bees in the crops while others contaminate the pollen and nectar that bees bring back to their hives. Herbicide use and habitat loss leave bees with less food to eat and fewer places to nest. Organic farms are often close to native bees wild habitats, and bees often visit organic farms in search of owers. On organic farms, farmers value our hard-working friends. That is why we dont use toxic pesticides or herbicides that can harm them. Organic farms are a place where all types of bees can grow and live happily and healthfully.

5 Activity: Draw your own pollinator! Follow the steps below to make a very cool bee. (You might want to grab an extra piece of paper for your drawing).

1.

2.

3.

Draw an abdomen 4.

Draw a thorax 5.

Draw the head 6.

Give your bee some stripes + 6 legs

Draw 2 wings, 2 atennae Add an eye

Finish the wings GREAT JOB!

Did you know? 1. Nearly of our crops are pollinated by bees 2. A bee beats its wings 11,000 cycles per minute. Try moving your arms that fast! 3. Worker bees do a special dance when they return to the hive. The dance instructs other bees where they can nd food.

Where can I buy organic food?Organic food is becoming more available all over the United States. Organic food could usually only be found at healthfood stores and specialty stores. Now organic food can be found at your corner grocery store and supermarket. A GREAT place to nd a variety of fresh, delicious organic food is directly from a farmer at a farmers market. Farmers markets have been around for centuries and are starting to become more common in the United States once again. Farmers markets are local gatherings at public places, like parks, where farmers sell their produce and goods directly to the public. Some towns have farmers markets as often as once or twice a week. To nd a farmers market near you, visit www.localharvest. org and www.ccof.org.

5 Activity: This organic farmer has a lot of great produce to sell. Can you help him nd his way to the farmers market in town? Guide him through the tricky streetsbut be sure not to run into any roadblocks or stop signs, you wont be able to pass.

Why are farmers markets so great?Food is FRESH! Most conventional produce travels 1500 miles before it reaches stores. Food from other countries has to travel even further and can take many days to reach stores. Shopping at farmers markets saves valuable fuel! All the traveling that the foods in supermarkets do wastes a lot of oil and gasoline, precious natural resources that are becoming scarce. There is great VARIETY! You can nd unusual produce at farmers markets that you cant at grocery stores. They support small farmers and strengthen local community and economy.

Word Hunt!5 Activity: Can you dig up the dirt on Organic Farming? Look for the words in the box on your right. All of these words have to do with things we learned about soil. You will nd the words up, down, left, right, or even diagonally. Good luck!

O R G A W I I

E R U T X E T I

F

M R O W H T R A E E G V A G B A G

J K S U L O N N Q I U I

O D K A A P Q K A P G J N M R O J A N N T G M U V G G T A A I T D A I I E O S D I I E R E T C A B I R T

R C

N M S O L A L S N U T R I

S H B U P O L P G V G A S Y U E C Y G H N F

1. Dirt 2. Nutrients 3. Bacteria 4. Fungus 5. Earthworm 6. Nitrogen 7. Organism 8. Calcium 9. Nematode 10. Compost 11. Hyphae 12. Organic 13. Roots 14. Texture

E Y O O D K H L E N T J K L

M N M S Z P

COMPOST is simply a pile of decomposing organic matter. It has a very special purpose for organic farmers. For all the great food we take out of the soil, we have to put something back in to replenish it. Composting is the natural process by which we return nutrients and fine organic material back to the earth. Using Compost improves soils water holding capacity, structure, texture and fertility. Basically, we are recycling our own waste. The compost heap is made of things that bacteria, fungi, insects and worms like to eat: old fruit, old vegetables, and leaf litter! We occasionally turn the pile to keep the air flowing. The final product of composting is a rich, earthy, fertile material called HUMUS. Plants love it!5 Activity: unscramble the words below to discover good things to put in compost. 1. IRAH 2. KAO VELEAS 3. GGE LHSESL ______________ ______________ ______________ 4. PALEP EROC ______________ 5. ANNABA LEPE ______________ 6. OTPAOT ISSNK ______________

Crossword Puzzle5 Activity: For your nal activity you will n