There are a range of agricultural techniques and approaches that are sustainable and have either a light impact or no impact at all on our environment. In fact, there is potential for certain approaches to build on and improve an environment.
Here are 4 approaches that offer a sustainable approach to agriculture :
Hydroponics is growing plants without the use of soil, sometimes with the plant roots directly in water or otherwise with the roots in growing media. A mineral solution is pumped through the grow beds to supply nutrients to the plants. As the water recirculates it tends to be more water and nutrient efficient than regular growing in soil. The grower also has greater control over how much and which nutrients are absorbed by the plants.
Permaculture focuses on a balanced and diverse approach to design and agriculture. By emulating natural patterns that appear in existing successful ecosystems a strong and resilient environment can be created that sustainably supports itself.
Biodynamics aims to develop the farm as a total organism. A good analogy is the human body - feed the body fats and sugars and it will change for the worse, teeth rot, the skin blemishes and arteries clog. The land is the same. Expose the body to chemicals and it will react in an adverse manner the way soil does. Biodynamics focuses on healthy soil, the essential basis for healthy plants and animals. The soil structure is enhanced through using organic farm based products that work directly with the dynamic biological processes and cycles of soil fertility.
Organic certified uses national standards of farming and growing processing of produce. Regulations set certain standards as to where livestock feed comes from, what seed can be used for crops, what fertilisers can be used etc. to ensure that no synthetic pesticides, growth hormone, antibiotics or genetically modified products are used. The methods used have an overall aim of balance and diversity and steers away from monocultures ultimately seeking to increase sustainability and to work with existing ecological cycles and systems.