While talking with a friend recently, the topic of “organic” came up.
He said he didn’t have a terribly high opinion of it; that it had become more complicated than worthwhile. Although I didn’t agree with him, this conversation made me think of how that one word has at least three different meanings or uses: organic gardening, soil organic matter and organic chemistry.
The first is one that those of us who garden might recognize, and that my friend was rejecting. This is organic horticulture or agriculture, organic gardening. It was not until the mid-1990s that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) promulgated guidelines for organic agriculture and its many components.