Here at the Eminence Certified Organic Farm, you’ll discover we are bustling with activity. You’ll find our award-winning organic farmers preparing fallow fields, tilling compost beds, watering flowerbeds, harvesting organic ingredients which contribute to your favorite Eminence Organic Skin Care products, and even providing freshly picked organic fruit and vegetables to children at the local hospital here in Hungary, as part of the Eminence Kids Foundation initiative. All this, and more, is happening at the farm.
But come even closer, and you’ll be delighted to meet our neighbors: the insects and living creatures who call our farm Home.
The beauty of organic farming is that, rather than trying to keep bugs and insects away, we appreciate their contribution to our planet and welcome these natural inhabitants who help to heal and restore the earth through enriching the soil naturally. In Hungary, organic is a way of life. At the Eminence Certified Organic Farm, we are proud to be certified by Biokontroll Hungaria – the organic certifying organization in Hungary. That means that through inspection and regulations conducted by this non-biased third party, the Eminence Certified Organic Farm is verified and in compliance with all organic mandates. Organic farming is the way our grandmothers, and their grandmothers before them, grew their own fresh ingredients that they used to eat and make natural remedies.
Here are just some of our friendly organic neighbors who posed long enough to smile for the camera:
The Butterfly Benefits from Organic
Butterflies are among the most charismatic group of animals. They play important roles in many ecosystems as pollinators, herbivores and as food for a wide range of species, including bats and birds. In a study conducted by USDA Organic and published in American Butterflies, where butterflies were surveyed on both organic and non-organic farms, they found higher butterfly species richness (20%) and abundance (60%) on organic compared to conventional farms.
Fun Fact: Most adult butterflies drink nectar from flowers through their tongues, which function much like straws.
The Ladybug Loves Organic, Too
Ladybugs are also known as lady beetles or even ladybird beetles. In European countries they are referred to as “ladybirds.” Adult lady beetles are round beetles measuring no more than 3/8″ in length. Ladybugs – celebrated for their playful red wings and black spots in children’s stories around the world (although there are plenty of species without spots) – help a garden to stay healthy by eating some of the insects that could harm it. They are like a natural insecticide! The favorite foods of ladybugs include aphids, spider mites and mealybugs.
Fun fact: In the Fall, ladybugs will gather in large numbers in places where they will spend the winter – usually under rocks, leaves, old fallen trees and any other location sheltered from the weather.
The Grasshopper’s Mood Can Affect an Organic Farm
While grasshoppers can do significant damage to a farmer’s crops, without these insects the ecosystem would be a much different place. They play a critical role in the environment, making it a safer and more efficient place for plants and other animals to thrive. In fact, even a change in a grasshopper’s mood can alter the ways in which he benefits the environment, reflecting just how dependent our ecosystem is upon these little jumping insects.
Grasshoppers may have the most influence over the balance an organic farm experiences. In fables, grasshoppers often strike a balance of maintaining both the voice of wisdom as well as showing off a talent for musical genius (playing one’s own wings as a violin). For example, at the conclusion of Dahl’s novel James and the Giant Peach, the “Old-Green-Grasshopper” character becomes a member of the New York Symphony Orchestra, where his playing earns great admiration. Old-Green-Grasshopper is wise and cultured, and he serves as a moderating force among the peach passengers.
Fun Fact: Primarily male grasshoppers chirp, as a way of attracting the opposite sex. Grasshoppers have a series of special grooves on their hind legs that produce sound when rubbed against a wing.
The Frog & The Canary Share A Common Purpose
Frogs and toads are right in the middle of the food chain and provide a very efficient transfer of solar energy. They play an important role in consuming insects and are an important food source for birds, snakes, and other animals throughout the food web. Frogs indicate the health of their environment similarly to the yellow canary bird! If the environment that frogs need is missing or compromised, their populations will definitely show the effects. You may already know that frogs are amphibians, a class of animals that includes salamanders. Amphibians make good indicator species because they live in both land and water, and have thin skin that they sometimes breathe through. If there are lots of frogs and other amphibians in a habitat, it means the ecosystem is healthy.
This photograph is a very special one because the photographer had to sit still by our lily pond for a very, very long time! This little guy just wasn’t sure he would stick around. But, in the end, our Eminence Organics photographer won him over. Show us those pearly whites!
Birds Sing a Happier Tune on Organic Farms
Birds often serve as an indicator of good stewardship of natural resources. Most bird species are sensitive to environmental changes and are numerous enough for us to be able to observe their response to an event or change. For example, the number and type of birds present on a farm indicate overall quality of habitat such as food availability and opportunities for nesting. Isn’t that interesting? We thought so!
A recent study examined the effects of different farming practices on bird numbers and species found on farmland during the winter in six European countries. Overall, the greatest number of birds and species were on organic farms.
This little bird below made her home in the roof above the lángos oven, wisely anticipating the delicious preparation of Hungarian flatbread. We have also provided homes for our feathered friends within the grand entrance! Each little circular home is a “single-family dwelling”.
Organic Farms Help the Honeybee
Having honeybees near and around an organic farm benefits the farm, all of the other insects, the flowers and all the people! Bees fulfill the critical need to pollinate flowers and fruit trees. The pollen needs a transportation vehicle – and bees are the perfect carriage. Pollination allows fruit trees and flowers to reproduce, so this process – and the bees that ensure pollination takes place – are vital to our ecosystem.
Bees may be most adversely affected by non-organic farms, because they sadly pickup any chemicals and pesticides a flower may be holding, carrying it home to the hive, where it can cause great damage to the entire bee colony.
However, the opposite is also true! A healthy organic farm, like Eminence Certified Organic Farm, can provide exceptional healthy pollen for our little buzzing friends. We are so happy knowing we are filling their hives with organic nutrition which will heal and nurture all of us.
Here is a very special guest time lapse film from our friend, Louie Schwartzberg, entitled “Wings of Life,” who filmed the beauty of pollination from bees, bats, butterflies and birds – sharing their glorious dance for all of us to enjoy:
Spiders On the Eminence Organics Farm
Spiders have a pretty bad rap. But, actually, spiders are incredibly helpful to our certified organic farm! Spiders eat pests we don’t want as well as prevent disease. Even the most deadly spiders are not aggressive, meaning they don’t go out of their way to hurt humans. In fact, the venom in spiders is actually used in medical research to help humans. Studies show that without spiders, we’d experience a great famine.
Fun Fact: Spider silk has a higher strength-to-density ratio than steel. Its components could one day be put to use in such varied products as airplanes, bulletproof vests, surgical threads and prostheses.
Eminence Organics, A Grateful Neighbor
Eminence Organic Skin Care is extremely proud to share our award-winning certified organic farm with you. Come explore and discover for yourself why the Eminence Certified Organic Farm was awarded Garden of the Year and our lead farmer was awarded Organic Farmer of the Year. In fact, there are quite a few awards and certifications you can see here.
While these awards and acknowledgements tickle us pink and make us jump for joy, the greatest reward of all is when we see how our animal and insect neighbors thrive here on our farm. Their happiness is our greatest achievement and let’s us know our mission is being fulfilled. Thank you, neighbors!