Biologicals in edible gardens
EPISODE 3 – Mother Nature leads the way
Biologicals offer non-chemical, natural pest control solutions. They preserve the natural garden eco-system, are environmentally friendly, residue-free, safe and effective.
A little history on biological control:
South Africa’s history on biological control began in 1913 with the highly-successful introduction of a cochineal insect against the prickly pear cactus. Over the next 100 years, at least 73 invasive plant species have been targets for biological control, with 48 hosts successfully identified.
In agriculture, significant research and development have been channeled into biological products over the past two decades. Spearheading this development locally, is KZN-based sustainable agricultural company, Madumbi Sustainable Agriculture; market leaders in biomanagement and biostimulant crop solutions.
‘There’s a much higher level of acceptance on biologicals now than there was ten to fifteen years ago. Today’s consumer is demanding residue-free, nutrient-dense food to feed their families and wants to be safe doing so. Madumbi is proud to champion this biological conversation into the retail and gardening market, under the EcoBuz brand.’ – Andre Fox, Madumbi Founder & CEO
A little insight into biological control
A biological approach centres around nature, embracing the synergistic relationships that occur naturally to ensure survival and sustainability. ‘Biological thinking’ views nature as being brilliantly creative and diverse – with soil (a living eco-system) being integrally interconnected with roots and plant health.
As gardeners, we have been taught to view bacteria as germs, fungi as diseases, insects and weeds as pests. However, the scientific truth is that many of these critters are beneficial, even essential, to healthy plant growth and development. When there is an excess of one pest species, it is often an indication that the natural balance has been disturbed and a sign of vulnerability.
The future of biologicals
Biologicals were initially developed to address the needs of niche organic growers. However, they are increasingly being incorporated into mainstream agricultural production, not only for the pest management solutions they offer but also to promote and build more vigorous, healthier plants and crops. Continuous R&D has been extended to include improved crop quality and shelf life … watch this space. Nature continues to teach us more and more every day.