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.]
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.
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.
An integrated self-regulating, multi-layered food-web that requires little maintenance and no pesticides.
A method of land management used to prevent soil erosion and replenish the soil with nutrients.
The implementation/ mix of fruit and nut trees with bushes, shrubs and vegetable plants which are planted in a way that mimic woodland ecosystems.
Similar to companion planting, where plants of different species are planted together in symbiotic groups, providing nutrients, pest protection and shade to eachother.
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.
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.