Sustainable Farming Practices
Sustainable farming is defined by three standards: its environmental impact, the ability of the farm to be self-contained, and the profitability of it to continue to provide its goods for the long term. All three are important and one can’t be absent from the equation.
Environmental impact: a natural ingredient of sustainability is for the farm to be able to replenish and renew its soil with a minimum need of help from non-renewable sources.
Self-contained: whether it’s growing farmed goods or breeding livestock, a sustainable farm must be able to replenish its crop and only need a minimum of assistance from outside its boundaries. For example, a sustainable farm should not need an abundant amount of water shipped in since most if not all of its water needs will come from rainfall and proper irrigation.
Profitability: this doesn’t mean that a sustainable farmer is interested in making money over all factors. However, it is important that a sustainable farm be able to support its workers with a living wage and continue to pay for its operation and make an acceptable return on its capital investments.
You should keep in mind that just because a farm is practicing sustainable farming doesn’t mean that it’s also a practitioner of ‘certified’ organic farming, and vice versa. There is also continual debate over what form produces the optimal sustainable agricultural method, such as having large tracks of rural land devoted to growing food versus smaller urban farms that reduce the transportation from grower to consumer.