BIODIVERSITY VS. MONOCULTURE

INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE = MONOCULTURE

SMALL FARMS = BIODIVERSITY

 

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Small, organic farms like Rick Knoll’s are able to eliminate their reliance on petrochemical-based fertilizers and pesticides.  The results are fewer pollutants, less environmental degradation, and cleaner air.  And by using cover cropping and other soil fertilization principles they are able to sequester carbon and keep topsoil—which is carbon heavy—from being lost into the atmosphere, which also contributes to climate change.

[This image was made possible with generous funding from Google.]


Tairwa’ Produce
Brentwood, CA
3 December 2010

Biodiversity

weeds + trees + crops + critters + soil = An integrated food web allowing biota to self-regulate = (no pesticides needed)An integrated self-regulating, multi-layered food-web that requires little maintenance and no pesticides.

OTHER RELATED TERMS

Monoculture

growing a single crop over a vast amount of land increases the risk of fungus, disease and specialized predators, which conventional farming combats with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Biodynamics

An integrated self-regulating, multi-layered food-web that requires little maintenance and no pesticides.

Cover Cropping

A method of land management used to prevent soil erosion and replenish the soil with nutrients.

Food Forest

The implementation/ mix of fruit and nut trees with bushes, shrubs and vegetable plants which are planted in a way that mimic woodland ecosystems.

Guilds

Similar to companion planting, where plants of different species are planted together in symbiotic groups, providing nutrients, pest protection and shade to eachother.

ADDITIONAL TEXT TAKEN FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH

THE CONVENTIONAL FARMERS NEXT DOOR¹ CALL RICK’S ORGANIC METHODS “DIRTY FARMING” (THEY’RE “CLEAN”). Each winter their fields sit idle for months at a time. Since no cover crop is planted (a process returns nutrients to the soil and increases soil fertility), the soil remains exposed to the elements. Wind erosion will carry some of this precious top soil away, and in so doing releases carbon back into the atmosphere.

ABOUT RICK KNOLL

Rick Knoll is an organic farmer who has been practicing biodynamic farming for 32 years. He holds a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from UC Irvine and studied Agroecology at UC Santa Cruz.

ADDITIONAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST

Tairwa’- Knoll Farms

UN Report on Biodiversity in Agriculture

Agriculture and biodiversity: challenges and opportunities for agri-business

Rick Knoll on Biodynamic Agriculture

TED TALK: Cary Fowler: One Seed at a time, Protecting the Future of Food

 

  • Marianne

    This is perfect! Thanks for all your hard work. Some farmers in our area are gradually changing to organic.

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