Organic agriculture, which can be understood as a method of farming and gardening that relies on natural systems and products and is free of virtually all synthetic and toxic chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides and a holistic, sustainable production management system that promotes and enhances biological cycles and soil biological activity, has a long and interesting … Continue reading the historical development of organic farming
The word organic is popping up everywhere. Organic milk, strawberries, and tomatoes. Organic cotton and organic pet food. These items are undoubtedly more expensive than their conventional counterparts and they are often stigmatized as being yuppie products or just another marketing scheme. Organic products have also been recognized as being healthier and more environmentally-friendly. But … Continue reading question: what does organic really mean?
Hybrid plants are a crossing between two selected parent plants achieved via controlled pollination (see how are plants propagated). The seeds produced by this process are called F1 or F1 Hybrids. These hybrids will exhibit very specific qualities. Hybrids have quickly come to dominate the seed market. However, in spite of their increased market presence … Continue reading 5 reasons not to buy hybrid seeds
A biofuel is a form of fuel that is produced from renewable organic materials, such as sugar crops, oil seed crops, and animal fats. They are considered to be potential substitutes for carbon-based fuels, i.e. extremely old, biofuels. There are two varieties: plant-based and animal-based. The plant-based products are fermented sugars which create the fuels like … Continue reading biofuels explained
Defined by the American Society for Horticultural Science as, "the art and science of producing, improving, marking, and using fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants," horticulture is an important component of society that positively impacts citizen's quality of life. Such improvements can take the form of, for example, increased nutrition, more attractive living environments, or … Continue reading question: what is horticulture?
First introduced in Japan and Switzerland in the 1970s, community supported agriculture (CSA) is a form of partnership between farmer and consumer. They enter into a contract which provides consumers with a certain number of 'shares' in the farm. Each share provides the consumer a box (or bag or bucket or ...) of vegetables or other products … Continue reading an introduction to community supported agriculture (csa)
Direct marketing is a form of marketing that is drastically different than commodity selling. Where commodity selling is based on a market-determined price and generally focused on standardized, large-scale sales that are impersonal in nature, direct marketing involves 1:1 selling between an individual/group and the seller. In doing so, trust is established and alternative forms of value … Continue reading 7 tips for the successful implementation of direct marketing strategies by small farmers
Small farmers are an integral part of society. They produce food, provide rural employment, and contribute to diversity in both ownership and societal structure. However, they are also faced with a number of struggles, particularly when it comes to market entry and competition with large-scale agribusiness. In order to address these issues and maintain profitability, small farmers … Continue reading question: what strategies can small farmers use to better compete in a challenging market environment?
Producing a vast amount of the world's food, small farms are valuable assets that contribute to long-term economic sustainability and food security. What actually constitutes a small farm is hard to specify as there are extreme variations in societal structure, ergo many definitions exist. In the United States, a small farm is defined as any … Continue reading question: what are small farms, how do they contribute to society, and what challenges are they faced with?
Despite the fact that intercropping has ancient roots, it is only more recently that institutional attention has been paid to this growing method. The majority of formal research to date focuses on large-scale, rural production. Findings show that intercropping has both advantages and disadvantages, which are described in the table below. +++ - - - … Continue reading the advantages and disadvantages associated with intercropping