What Is Organic Rosemary?

Cindy Quarters

Rosemary is an herb that has long been popular as a seasoning in Mediterranean countries. It prefers moist soils, as long as it is well-drained, and can grow 2 feet (about 0.6 meters) tall or more under the right conditions. Organic rosemary is the same herb, but one that has been grown under organic conditions. That means that everything used in the growth and care of the plant comes directly from nature, and no artificial fertilizers or pesticides have been used.

Kalamata olives garnished with organic rosemary.
Kalamata olives garnished with organic rosemary.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that organic rosemary and other organic produce is better to eat because it is more nutritious. Actually, the nutritional value of organic produce is essentially the same as that of non-organic food. The difference between the two types is in how the plants are treated, particularly while they are growing.

A grilled steak garnished with organic rosemary.
A grilled steak garnished with organic rosemary.

While countries all have their own set of regulations regarding the production of organic produce, certain things are almost universally prohibited if a food is to be labeled as organic. The main stipulation is that the use of man-made chemicals, whether used for fertilization or pest control, is forbidden. This can include chemicals, antibiotics, and products such as sewage sludge that have been chemically treated to make them safe for use on crops Whether considered safe or not, chemicals are not used at all while growing organic rosemary and other organic crops.

Organic rosemary is often grown on smaller farms, rather than on large, commercial ones. Larger enterprises tend to use highly intensive methods of growing, and typically can require the use of chemical fertilizers to boost the soil and chemical pesticides to control the many pests that result from such conditions. These larger operations are not economically sustainable without such methods, but smaller growers can often be successful using other means of fertilization and pest control. This can result in a somewhat higher price for organic foods.

An organic farm typically uses mulch, compost and manure to both fertilize the soil and help to control weeds in and around the crops. Natural methods of pest control, such as the use of predatory insects to kill or limit the numbers of pests that damage the main crop, also help the farmer to produce an abundant harvest. Organic rosemary can add flavor to food without adding artificial additives.

Organic produce and herbs are not treated with man-made chemicals.
Organic produce and herbs are not treated with man-made chemicals.

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