"Organic cultivation" is one of the methods of tea cultivation.
Do you know what organic cultivation is? Strict standards must be met before tea can be labeled as organically grown. In this article, we will explain in detail about organic farming.
What is organic farming?
Organic farming uses methods that "do not use chemically synthesized fertilizers or pesticides, do not use genetic modification technology, and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural production as much as possible."
Specifically, it refers to cultivation methods that do not use prohibited pesticides or chemical fertilizers and that take into consideration nature's natural ecosystems.
There is also pesticide-free cultivation, but it is not the same as organic cultivation because the regulations differ. Organic cultivation is subject to strict standards, not only in terms of whether or not pesticides are applied but also in terms of soil preparation and seed suppliers.
JAS certification is given to agricultural products and processed foods that meet the standards for organic cultivation.
Based on the JAS Law established by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, a registered certifying organization conducts inspections. Only products that pass these inspections are allowed to be labeled "organic" or "organically grown.
When applying the JAS mark, the name of the inspection organization that conducted the inspection and the certification number must be indicated.
Organic Farming of Tea
Organic tea must be harvested from areas free of synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and synthetic soil conditioners for at least three years and where the soil has been prepared with compost or other fertilizers.
If fertilizers are used, only organic fertilizers that meet the standards may be used. When organic farmers use fertilizers, they mainly use homemade fertilizers (fermented fertilizers).
During cultivation, farmers take the time and effort to harvest leaves appropriately to prevent a sudden increase in insects and diseases and to cut weeds to ensure that the tea plants are well nourished.
Features of Organic Tea
Because the tea leaves are grown in a near-wild state, the original flavor of the tea leaves is brought out to the maximum extent.
Although the aroma is strong, the bitterness and astringency are not too strong, and the tea has a moderate richness and a refreshing aftertaste.
When usual tea leaves are brewed in hot or cold water, agrochemicals also melt into the liquid.
Even though the amount is safe to our body, there are concerns about consuming agrochemicals for many years.
However, organically grown tea leaves are completely free of such concerns, and can be consumed safely even by those with chemical sensitivities.
In addition, by not using pesticides in cultivation, the tea is environmentally friendly and does not negatively impact the ecosystem. Therefore, it is expected to help maintain and stabilize agriculture in the future.However, organically grown tea leaves are completely free of such concerns, and can be consumed safely even by those with chemical sensitivities.
In addition, by not using pesticides in cultivation, the tea is environmentally friendly and does not negatively impact the ecosystem. Therefore, it is expected to help maintain and stabilize agriculture in the future.
In the early stages of conversion to organic farming, yields are unstable due to many pests and diseases.
Organic fertilizers are also challenging to handle, and their ingredients are less stable than chemical fertilizers, so you must constantly assess the condition of the soil and crops to manage fertilizers.
Because the tea plant is more susceptible to crop failure due to weather conditions and adverse effects of pests and diseases, it isn't easy to achieve stable production year after year in terms of yield and quality.
Without knowledge and skill and a long period of time for the soil to stabilize, obtaining stable yields with organic farming isn't easy.
Another disadvantage is that because herbicides are not used, weeding is required throughout the year to remove weeds that have grown between the rows, increasing the workload for farmers.