Sustainable agriculture can be defined as any type of farming that uses natural resources to sustain the soil, water, and environment, creating a safe and healthy environment, not only for the plant and animal kingdoms, but also for the farmers working the land. There are many different methods and practices used by farmers all over the world in an effort to make sustainable agriculture a reality, and one of those practices is organic farming.
An organic farm practices organic agriculture, meaning they avoid using synthetic chemicals and other synthetic techniques in the cultivation of crops and livestock. Instead, organic farmers use natural fertilizers, biodiversity, and mechanical extraction of soil to grow their crops.
There are many reasons why people choose to eat organic food instead of conventionally grown foods. People choose to eat organic because:
- Organics are generally less processed and so have fewer added ingredients and chemicals
- They contain higher levels of vitamins and nutrients
- These contain lower levels of pesticides
- They have been shown to contain lower levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria
- Organic products contribute less to climate change, as they have been shown to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
- They contribute higher nutritional value and can therefore boost the economy of developing countries
- They are generally more varied, offering consumers a broader range of food options
- The cultivation of organic crops and livestock is an internationally recognized standard for organic certification, ensuring the products end up being properly labeled. Certifying agents routinely monitor organic farms to ensure that organic standards are being met throughout the entirety of the farm’s operation.
How do you get started in organic farming?
- Apple and plum trees
- Berries (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, etc.)
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, etc.)
Once you’ve decided on your crop, you will need to secure a viable piece of land to grow your crops on.
Once you have your land ready, you need to take care of your plants. This involves a process called weeding, which is the elimination of unwanted plants that interfere with the growth of your crop. Weeds are usually seedlings or plants that regenerate from runners, so they need to be cleared off before they shed these reproductive parts.