Nature Talk: The 4 Benefits of Small-Scale Farming

Small farms enhance the land’s health.

Small farms in America tend to grow a broader variety of plants when compared to monocultures of soy or corn. Natural systems are often stronger when they have a higher diversity of species. This means when a catastrophe attacks the farm system, the chances of surviving crops are higher, and there will be a less economic risk to the grower. Having various crops in your small-scale farm also enhances the quality of the soil because different plants utilize and restore different soil nutrients. Coupled with smart planting, the amount of needed fertilizer will also be reduced. Crop diversity decreases the threat of pests, and so less pesticide is used. Still, we can’t be 100% sure that pests won’t be around, which is why we purchase sprayers. In the link, you’ll find online backpack sprayers reviewed.

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They improve people’s health.

Small farms—whether local or regional—also provide people with unprocessed fruits and veggies. By “unprocessed,” we mean the food is healthy, fresh, and is chemical-free. By consuming only fresh food, people can have a healthier diet and thus have a healthier lifestyle.

Small farms make the food system resilient.

Many small and medium-sized farms across the U.S. provide a multitude of food sources, generating significant redundancy in the American food system. For instance, if any of the small farms are in poor condition, Americans could still acquire fresh fruits and vegetables from other local and regional farms in the area. This way, economic risk is distributed, and all people will have the chance to obtain greater food security—meaning we won’t run out of food.

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These farms create jobs.

USDA says $1M in sales in local food markets holds up 13 jobs, compared to only three jobs in markets that don’t focus on local and regional food. On top of that, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported that even moderate public support for up to 500 farmers every year could generate as many as 13,500 jobs over a 5-year period. Impressive, isn’t?

Clearly, small-scale farming is beneficial for our health, environment, and way of living.

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