Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. Organic farming methods are studied in the field of agroecology. While conventional agriculture uses synthetic pesticides and water-soluble synthetically purified fertilizers, organic farmers are restricted by regulations to using natural pesticides and fertilizers. The principal methods of organic farming include crop rotation, green manures and compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation. These measures use the natural environment to enhance agricultural productivity: legumes are planted to fix nitrogen into the soil, natural insect predators are encouraged, crops are rotated to confuse pests and renew soil, and natural materials such as potassium bicarbonate and mulches are used to control disease and weeds. Organic farmers are careful in their selection of plant breeds, and organic researchers produce hardier plants through plant breeding rather than genetic engineering.
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“We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to sayand to feelYes, thats the way it is, or at least thats the way I feel it. Youre not as alone as you thought.”
—John Steinbeck (19021968)
“Technology represents intelligence systematically applied to the problem of the body. It functions to amplify and surpass the organic limits of the body; it compensates for the bodys fragility and vulnerability ...”
—Shoshana Zuboff (b. 1951)
“With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,”
—W.H. (Wystan Hugh)