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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Sustainable Farming

Sustainable Farming

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, August 19, 2019/Categories: video, sustainability, environment

 Sustainable Vineyard (credit: SWP Media)

Agroecology uses ecological principles applied to agricultural production. It requires understanding plant and pest interactions, nutrient cycles, soil micro-biology, and working with the local environment to produce sustainable long-term, harvests. The approach has been successfully applied to horticultural crops like strawberries, flowers, and grapes as well as some commodity grains and oil seed crops. An important goal is to reduce the use herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, produced from petrochemicals, while still maintaining good crop yields. Agroecology also tries integrating farmers into the food marketing system and is part of the 'farmer's market' trend now common in many states.

One of the leading practitioners of this approach to sustainable agriculture is the ecologist Steven Gliessman, who initiated one of the first agroecology programs at the University of California in the 1970s. He gave a presentation for the Edible Education 101 program alongside well known food writers Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, and Alice Waters. These writers have brought attention to eating healthy foods, small farmers, and environmental concerns from industrial agriculture.

The next time you wander sampling goodies at your local farmer's market, you may have a better appreciation for the value of sustainable farming, family farmers, and fresh food sources.



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