Organic, Sustainable, and Regenerative Farming
Since far too often traditional farming practices degrade the environment, many farmers who are concerned about the health and vitality of their farmland choose to adopt safer practices. These safer agricultural techniques include organic farming, sustainable farming, and regenerative farming. The focus of these types of agriculture is on maintaining or improving the health of the soil, water, and air rather than choosing farming methods that may be cheap or easy but ultimately hurt the environment. Virginia Estates has worked with hundreds of farmers to find the right property, and we are proud to offer properties for a range of budgets that would be perfect for the next organic, sustainable, or regenerative farm!
Organic Farming: Rejecting Chemicals
For those committed to farming safely, the US Department of Agriculture has specific standards to guide those who are new to organic farming. Organic farming seeks to protect the environment from the impact of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, antibiotics, and genetically-modified crops. Organic farmers replace these damaging practices with management practices that prevent pests and diseases specific to their site. When possible, organic farming uses biological, agronomic, or mechanical techniques rather than chemicals.
Sustainable Farming: Maintaining Farming’s Long-term Vitality
Farms of any size can embrace the principles of sustainable farming. In essence, sustainable agriculture meets three requirements: it is economically viable and thus sustainable for the farmer; it is socially supportive for the farm, employees, and community; and it is environmentally sound. These interrelated principles reflect a concern for the long-term viability of agriculture.
Sustainable farming includes many lessons from organic farming, as organic farming at its heart is about protecting the environment. But some farming practices that are accepted by the US Department of Agriculture’s organic standards would not meet many sustainable farmers’ standards. Some, but not all, sustainable farmers choose to become organic-certified. Whatever your goals are, our team of experts is proud to offer our expertise to make sure you find the right property to work with your plans.
Regenerative Farming: Improving and Rebuilding the Land
While organic farming removes harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides from the equation and replaces them with natural alternatives, the basic farming process doesn’t change much. In this traditional farming model, farmers protect their plants from bugs using chemical or natural pesticides. In contrast, regenerative farming involves using ecological solutions to replace the need for any kind of pesticide or fertilizer.
Because farmers don’t need to buy pesticides or fertilizers as they would with organic farming, it tends to be cheaper – and regenerative farming techniques tend to be even more effective! Instead of using a fertilizer, farmers can use the soil food web to their advantage. This won’t cost a dime and it helps to build high-quality topsoil that improves year by year. Likewise, farmers can use insects or birds and utilize plant diversity instead of buying pesticides.
Regenerative farming also moves beyond sustainable farming. Where sustainable farming seeks to maintain the viability of the land, regenerative farming uses management techniques to improve natural systems. Sustainable farming seeks to improve the effects of chemical usage, erosion, and aggressive tillage from previous agriculture rather than maintaining the system in its damaged state. Through introducing microorganisms into the soil, balancing soil nutrients, planting cover crops, and reducing aggressive tillage, farmers can improve the health of the ecosystem for future generations.
Virginia Estates has decades of experiencing working with farmers, and is proud to provide guidance to those interested in organic farming, sustainable farming, or regenerative farming. Call us today to schedule a viewing!