What is Organic and Sustainable agriculture? If you asked 100 people that question you would get 100 different answers and no two would be the same. Are some, any or most of them, correct?
First, if they included both organic and sustainable in the same definition, in my opinion, they are probably not correct. The utopian definition would be the same, but in the world of reality, utopia is rarely, if ever, achieved or reached. Confused? GOOD. You see, right now these are two incongruent principles which cannot be superimposed on each other to become one. This is because the man-made rules for agricultural practices are just that, man-made, not founded in good science, and certainly not following Mother Nature’s rules of “Best Agricultural Practices”.
Corporate, big-business, certified-organic agriculture grows organic food by following the USDA National Organic Program rules, but their practices are a long way from “sustainable”. Big money, and big short term profits drive their business decisions.
At the other end of the continuum are small organic farmers with a focus on long-term sustainability of the soil and environment first, and hopefully making a little money along the way.
The paradox is……………..farming is never really sustainable because ALL farming disrupts Mother Nature’s rules and principles. If we are to grow food to feed our community we HAVE to break Mother Nature’s Rules.
The real answer here is growing food to feed our people with minimum impact to our environment, while we are, by necessity, disturbing it – breaking Mother Nature’s Rules. Organic practices are more sustainable than conventional practices, and some National Organic Program rules for production are more sustainable than others, but there is yet room for a tremendous amount of improvement to make those practices even more sustainable.
This is where Almar Orchards comes into the discussion. We are not only certified organic but also understand our soils and our microenvironment, so that our agricultural production choices are designed to minimize the negative impact to our precious family farm, to improve the quality of life for everything living in, on, and around it, and to leave it a better place than when we found it.