Reflections on the Principles of Sustainbale Agriculture

Hi farmers, welcome to the world of farming once again. Now we are starting anew era of blogs which would be related to principles of sustainability in agriculture and much more.

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This picture was taken during a corn fest in Baden city which was during my coop.

After a brilliant success to coop term now we have started our new semester with some new expectations and broad knowledge spectrum for sustainability in agriculture and the experience of coop and own creativity would play an important role now. So lets begin with the some questions which are to be answered.

Perfect example of sustainable and diversified farm!!!! Pfennigs Organic Farm

With my viewpoint, the experience of these 5 months at pfennigs organic farm have enlightened my ideas for sustainable agriculture + the produce which is completely organic. Honestly i want to say we have heard a lot about organic but to practice it in reality and see the ground realities, which let us know the truth how difficult its is to grow produce with certain organic standards properly followed.

My certain interactions with farm owner jenn and wolfgang helped me to know that they have been running this farm from last 30 years and after working at this farm i gladly say that yes it is completely sustainable and every year even though the season may be wet or dry still they manage to grow a huge amount of produce and feed the community. Coming to sustainability they grow vegetables every year following certain principles which maintain their soil its fertility. They follow proper crop rotation and in addition leaves field vacant or cover crop it to get it fertility and moisture to be retained. They have around 12 different farm fields where they have proper management of weeds,fields, plant to plant and row to row to row  and follow crop rotations as well as cover cropping and follow certified organic standards.

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Well from all the book studies and my own knowledge we understand agriculture sustainable only when a particular process is being followed for a long term without any harm to the environment, ecology and biodiversity. After working at the farm and doing and seeing it at my own i literally believe how well they have understood this term and maintained it from last 30 years.

Yes, it has perfectly aligned to my understanding of sustainable Agriculture as from the organic point of view ,no usage of synthetic fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. they purely depend on natural rainfall and uses molasses and other mixtures as sprays for controlling insect pest attacks. All they do is completely safe and sound for environment and for the biodiversity.

To be certified organic it is mandatory to follow the certain rules and regulations which also consists  no harm to environment and biodiversity and if you don’t use synthetic products for growing produce and to have good yield you have to follow such management practices and agronomic ways and which have to be sustainable too, so that is the reason they have chosen such practices and plans which give them good yield, maintains soil fertility and structure and no harm to the ecosystem.

yes, definitely if am going to operate  a farm in near future i would follow these management and agronomic practices but it would be organic or inorganic it is still controversial for me. Another reason i have chosen this because after being known the ground realities  it would not be so challenging for me to keep this on track and this certainly fits well in the crop plan which is build early before season kicks in. Economically it is also viable if everything goes well  by the end of season you have a fair share of money.

In addition to all my above writing i would also like to depict that this farm is also a good example for diversification as they don’t rely upon single crop as they have huge amount of crops and varieties  which makes it diversified farm. That is why from last two years even it has been a lot dry or wet still they were able to make a huge chunk of profit even after failure of certain crops like corn,peas, potatoes, green peppers and in high number around 25 – 35 acres. They also run their own farmers market and CSA which also fits well in diversification. Apart from this they have their own warehouse where they wash, pack and store the produce. Not from their own farm they also pack produce from other farms and sell it in the market which is another good diversification. These all are the points which attracted me a lot.

Stay Tuned !!!!

 

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