Articles on Organic farming

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Whitlanders in the 1940s. Established in 1941 near the base of Victoria’s Mount Buffalo, this Catholic community celebrated the ‘dignity of manual labour’ and was led by a charismatic athlete and former judge’s associate, Ray Triado. Joe Pisani

Friday essay: the Australians who pioneered self-sufficiency, generations before Nimbin

Long before 70s hippies and hipster artisans, Australians were seeking solace by going back to the land. They ranged from anarchists to suffragists to Catholic agrarians.
Markus Spiske/Unsplash

What motivates ecopreneurs?

Organic farmers are entrepreneurs who are sensitive to ecology, yet their convictions can sometimes seem counter-intuitive. New research indicates some surprising motivations.
Workers spray pesticides on strawberry fields. Most of the studies that examine the effects of pesticides are funded by the chemical’s producer. (Shutterstock)

Pesticide research must stay transparent and independent

Most studies on the use of pesticides are funded by those that produce the chemicals but only independent research can inform us about the best agricultural practices.
‘Silent Spring’ author Rachel Carson testifies before a Senate Government Operations Subcommittee in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1963. Carson urged Congress to curb the sale of chemical pesticides and aerial spraying. AP

Would Rachel Carson eat organic?

Did Rachel Carson catalyze the organic farming movement, as many advocates claim? Or would she reject their ban on synthetic fertilizer and see organic as an inefficient way to feed the world?
Suspected infestation of Macrophomina phaseolina, a “novel” soil pathogen, in the non-fumigated buffer zone of a strawberry field. Julie Guthman

Healthy to eat, unhealthy to grow: Strawberries embody the contradictions of California agriculture

California produces 90 percent of the US strawberry crop, but growers face curbs on toxic chemicals that have helped their industry expand. Can a system centered on mass production become more sustainable?
The roots of organic farming in the United Kingdom can be traced to the fascism movement that began after the First World War. Rick Barrett/ambitious creative co

The roots of organic farming lie in fascism

Organic farming has roots in 20th century fascism, challenging the assumption that environmentalism and progressive politics are symbiotic.
Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health. Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/Flickr

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

Conventional wisdom says we need industrial agriculture to feed the world. Not so, says geologist David Montgomery: Practices that focus on creating healthy soil can transform agriculture.
Organic farm, Alamar. Melanie Lukesh Reed/Flickr

Cuba’s sustainable agriculture at risk in U.S. thaw

Cuban farming is a model of agroecology -- growing food without heavy use of fossil fuel or chemicals. But closer relations with the U.S. could push Cuba back toward large-scale industrial farming.
Genetically modified soybeans. Reuters/Bogdan Cristel

GM crops can benefit organic farmers too

Scientists are developing GM crops that don't need pesticides and other chemicals to help them grow. Isn't that what organic farmers want too?
Eat greener greens, they’re better for the planet. thebittenword.com/flickr

Organic farming techniques are closing gap on conventional yields

The unintended consequences of our agricultural food system – polluted air and water, dead zones in coastal seas, soil erosion – have profound implications for human health and the environment. So more…

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