Farming is a fulfilling occupation where there is little or not waste, as waste itself can be used to provide required nutrients to keep the farm alive. Sustainable farming uses biodiversity as its backbone and working principle by which the farm can operate.
By biodiversity, we imply that the farmer will plant multiple crops and trees, shrubs and animal life will also be part of the farm space to help the crops thrive. For instance, trees can be planted densely or sparsely to regulate sunlight, plants that attract or repel insects can be planted to protect crops. Trees and shrubs can also help limit soil erosion. Further, they will keep the soil nutrient rich and reduce the ill effects of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other diseases on the crops.
Maintaining Soil Quality
In sustainable farming, soil is cultivated by natural means. Microorganism community growth is actively enhanced to improve fertility through natural means. Sustainable practices such as limited tilling of land help in preserving the natural balance of soil nutrients. Further, cover crops are planted in off-seasons to protect the soil and crop residue is left on the ground so that its nutrients can be absorbed by the soil. Regular rotation of crops also helps in keeping the soil fertile for the long term.
Regulating Water Use
Sustainable farmers use calculated irrigation methods whereby water supply to the farm is regulated to conserve water and preserve soil minerals and nutrients from being washed away. Trees and shrubs keep the soil from eroding when watering is done and even help in maintaining ground water reserves.
While industrial farming is a lot more viable in the short run as most farming can be mechanized and synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically enhanced seeds will together ensure greater amount of crops in a single planting, they are not nutrient rich and in the long run will affect soil quality and lead to a lot of wastage. Sustainable farmers grow crops and raise livestock in natural conditions by applying biodiversity and farm-wide recycling.
Not Just About Farming Practices
Industrial farming practices have drained many farmlands of their nutrients and let them barren. Sustainable farming practices promotes a community feeling and the food grown is more wholesome and completely natural. Therefore, the buyer can freely buy grapes without worrying about the pesticides and buy beef without worrying over the hormones injected into it.
Sustainable farming promotes a natural way for performing farming activities whereby natural resources are harnessed to aid cultivation. The produce is sold locally by the farmers themselves, which adds a touché of genuineness to the produce.