Will a Change Come to Farming?

Susie Sutphin

Susie Sutphin › Susie Sutphin is an organic farmer and freelance marketer in North Tahoe, CA. She manages the ...

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In response to a recent article on Grist.org, Susie Sutphin ponders the possible avenues farmers can take to begin a conversion from industrialized practices to more sustainable ones.

Although these ‘baby steps’ seem completely realistic, one wonders if and when we’ll see a widespread shift in agriculture.

The debate between organic and conventional agriculture is not nearly as polarized as the news would have you think. There is a large gray area in the middle where conventional farmers are transitioning to more sustainable practices but not necessarily organic, at least yet.

I’ve often thought (and blogged about it. Click here for article 1 and article 2) that real change in the way we grow food is going to come from the farmers. They see first hand the devastating impact that chemical fertilizers and pesticides have on their land. They are also starting to see the money they could save in synthetic inputs by farming more ecologically and still have the same, if not better, yields.

Massive and sweeping change in the agricultural industry is probably never going to happen at the scale we would like. And for sure, the change is not going to be driven from the deep pockets of Monsanto. Rather, it’s going to start at a grassroots level.But it isn’t going to require that farmers convert cold turkey, however, and go organic overnight. It starts with baby steps like utilizing cover crops and crop rotations to better manage soil. Twilight Greenaway wrote a great article for Grist.org entitled, “Feed your soil – and the rest will follow.” Here’s my summary…

Click here to read the rest of the article over on The Food Chronicles!

Do you think organic farming can feed the world?

This article originally appeared on The Food Chronicles. It is partially posted here with permission of the author.

Photo Credit: Tomiko Peirano