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What is sustainable agriculture?

I have tried to wrap my head around what 'sustainable agriculture' means and it hasn't been easy to coin a simple and straightforward phrase. In general, one would argue that it involves managing water wisely, promoting diversity, building and maintaining healthy soil and minimizing pollution. What sustainable agricultural practices have you adopted?

I've replaced invasive plants with native plants, I don't use  pesticides or herbicides, I share the extra vegetables and herbs I harvest with friends and neighbors so they won't go to waste. I would like to do more for biodiversity, but I live in a condo and only have a small plot of land.  I do what I can though.

I forage ramps and  other vegetables responsibly.  I'm an organic gardener.  I plant heirloom seeds when they're available.  After the harvest I save the seeds from the strongest, most productive plants.  I keep some to plant next year and give the rest to my town's seed library.  I have a weed patch.  I have plants that act as food, nesting, and shelter for our local wildlife and pollinators.  Instead of using fertilizer, I move my garden around and add compost which continues to rot and replenish the Earth.  I save rain to water my garden later.  I preserve my harvest and compost what can't be given away or eaten by us.

I love gardening, but it isn't our livelihood.  I understand why others might make different choices.  I also do a lot of things wrong!  My family wastes more than it should and I do a lot of online shopping which inevitably leads to pollution and adds to our global warming problem.


Oh, we are all about…

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