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What is a "MicroFARM"?

December 24, 2015

 

You've heard the phrase "bigger is better", this isn't always the case. In most cases this puts an emphasis on "quantity" and not "quality". That's the example set by our current form of agriculture, "industrial farming". 

 

Industrial farming , even though there is no strict definition, refers to a modern type of agriculture which requires high inputs of money, chemical fertilizers, and eliminates jobs (using "labor-saving" technologies such as pesticides and herbicides in the place of weeding and heavy machinery for planting and harvesting) in order to maximize profits.

 

If you drive through the Mid-Western States you can get a clear picture of industrial farming: the landscape is dominated by mile after mile of two crops- corn and soybeans. Monocultures, or the production of one crop over a large area, are a main component of industrial farming, and, in addition to growing only one or two crops, this type of agriculture is characterized by a dependence upon external inputs (like fossil fuels, chemical pesticides and herbicides), extensive mechanization (the use of machines like harvesters to replace human labor) and consolidation of ownership. This method goes against the basic principals of the natural world (i.e. bio-diversity), and is the root of many problems.

 

Even though many support industrial farming and claim to have modernized/streamlined the production of food in our country while "feeding the world", such evolution has been at the expense of biodiversity, environmental sustainability, stable rural communities and even individuals' health.

 

Here at South Mountain MicroFARM we believe that one solution to many of our worsening environmental issues is "microfarming". Doing more with less is the theory behind this form of agriculture, while protecting bio-diversity, limited resources, rural communities and individuals' health.

 

We have all heard or seen a shift of focus from mass-production breweries to microbreweries nation wide. This same shift in focus is occuring within our food industry as well, given that the majority of the population is becoming more aware that the mass-production of food is not what's in the best interest of us or the environment. More and more the keywords "local, sustainable, fresh foods" are being heard and could evolve more through the efforts of microfarming.

 

Microfarming isn't a new form of agriculture, but yet a new term for a familiar form of agriculture, small-scale farming. Small-scale family farming has been around for centuries, and in fact, only the 20th century considered it to be an odd thing. As cities grew, they began making it illegal to have "farm animals" within city limits. They outlawed what is practical, sustainable, and, to a great extent, needed.

 

South Mountain MicroFARM is bringing back this old tradition with a modern twist to offer a more diverse variety of crops all year round, while protecting bio-diversity, limited resources, rural communities and individuals' health.  

Our 22 acre farm consists of a greenhouse (1/6th of an acre) and a Christmas tree farm (18.5 acre of agroforestry). In our greenhouse, using aquaponics, we are able to produce on a "micro" foot print what industrial farming can produce with an acre of similar crops. Aquaponics allows us to be more efficient, while using less of our limited resources (i.e. water, fossil fuels).

 

 

Some microfarms consist of only a few acres (i.e. less than 5 acres) and can be established to feed a family with a fresher, more nutritious option for food.

 

Contact us to find out more about the things we are doing on our MicroFARM or check out this link for more information on ways you can setup a backyard microfarm for your family... Backyard Microfarm.

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