Small-scale agriculture

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Small-scale agriculture is an alternative to factory farming or more broadly, intensive agriculture or unsustainable farming methods that are prevalent in primarily first world countries.It is sometimes identified with sustainable agriculture Environmental Health Perspectives has noted that "Sustainable agriculture is not merely a package of prescribed methods. More important, it is a change in mind set whereby agriculture acknowledges its dependence on a finite natural resource base--including the finite quality of fossil fuel energy that is now a critical component of conventional farming systems." [1] Small-scale agriculture includes a number of sustainable agriculture practices such as:

  • organic farming, which removes all chemical pesticides and fertilizer from agriculture
  • permaculture, which provides a holistic methodology for farm design
  • arable land use, arable land (from Latin arare, to plough ) is a form of agricultural land use, meaning land that can be (and is) used for growing crops. David Ricardo incorporated the idea of arable land into economic theory.
  • non-arable land use
  • pastoral, pastoral refers to the lifestyle of shepherds and pastoralists, moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability of water and feed.
  • rainfed agriculture
  • biodynamic farming, was developed by Rudolf Steiner, which consists of using herbal and homeopathic preparations for the cow dung/manure that is used extensively on the crops for fertilizer.

The methods of food sustainability and economics are being hotly debated. This is a question between economics and the draining of the largely unaccounted natural capital.

Dietary methods[edit]

Some dietary methods may contribute to sustainability such as macrobiotic, vegan, vegetarianism or restricting animal products to those produced using the above methods.

See also[edit]