Organic Farming and Sustainability – Term Paper Example

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The paper "Organic Farming and Sustainability" is a great example of a term paper on agriculture. Introduction The simplest description of the term sustainability is the overall capacity to endure (Harris, 2000). From the human perspective, sustainability can be explained as the maintenance of long-term well being which has social, economic and environmental dimensions that all encompass the responsible management and use of resources (Bengtsston, Ahnstrom & Weibull, 2005). From an ecological perspective, sustainability refers to the ability of biological systems to remain productive and diverse over time, which is a precondition for the well being of humans (Chertow & Esty, 1997).

Sustainability is concerned with improving the quality of life for all populations while ensuring that the use of resources does not go beyond the level that they can be supplied by the environment (Ingram, 2007). Sustainability is therefore applied to concepts that integrate nature and humanity with the aim of regulating the impacts of human activities on the environment. Through education on sustainability, people have given the opportunity to critically reflect on the impacts that their activities have on the environment that they expect to support them (Huckle & Sterling, 1996).

Environmental and social issues are usually surrounded by a lot of complexities that are brought out in sustainability education (Orr, 1996). That is why sustainability education is considered important and it should incorporate various ethical issues including the roles of humans in protecting the environment (Watson, Atkinson, Gosling, Jackson & Rayns, 2002). Organic farming is closely linked to sustainability. It can be described as a form of agriculture that heavily relies on the use of techniques such as compost, biological pest control, green manure and crop rotation to maintain the productivity of the soil as well as control pests in the farm (Watson, Atkinson, Gosling, Jackson & Rayns, 2002).

In organic farming, the use of manufactured pesticides, genetically modified organisms, plant growth regulators, fertilizers and livestock additives, food, hormones, or antibiotics are strictly excluded or limited (Stanhill, 1990). The history of modern organic farming dates back to the 1920s when a group of consumers and farmers from Europe sought an alternative to the common industrialization of agriculture (Bengtsston, Ahnstrom & Weibull, 2005).

These consumers and farmers were mainly concerned about caring for the soil and the natural processes that agriculture depended on. They were keen not to use inputs such as synthetic chemicals and artificial fertilizers so as to protect the environment and the soil (Wheeler, 2008). This essay will link organic farming to sustainability with the aim of finding out its role in ensuring sustainability. The paper will also discuss various perspectives of sustainability in regard to organic farming so as to discover the role of organic farming in promoting sustainability. This paper will do this by focusing on the greenhouse emporium, an organization that is at the forefront in promoting organic farming by selling organic products to be used in farming. Perspectives of Sustainability The concept of sustainability is usually known to embody three important perspectives that form the basis of any discussion on sustainability.

These are: Economic Sustainability A system that ensures economic sustainability is one that has the capability of continually generating services and goods which have the ability to maintain a level that a government can manage economically. Such a system is one that is free from any debts and it always steers away from the imbalances of extreme economic sectors.

The greenhouse emporium is one company that has managed to promote economic sustainability through the use of earth-friendly solutions and products for businesses and homes (Bengtsston, Ahnstrom & Weibull, 2005). These range from organic skincare products, new solar lighting, green cleaning products, eco-friendly office supplies, LED lights, garden equipment and so much more. In the context of this report, the greenhouse emporium specializes in organic farming products that are economically viable and sustainable such as compost, garden beds, garden fertilizers, synthetic grass, worm farms, and many other organic garden products (Gillman, 2008).

Most of these organic gardening products are economically viable because they are right for the environment and right for the users. To ensure economic sustainability, the company has invested heavily in understanding the latest research on sustainability (Watson, Atkinson, Gosling, Jackson & Rayns, 2002). This enables the company to provide users with the most current and relevant information that will allow them to make the best-informed purchasing decisions that take care of the environment without compromising the modern lifestyles that they live (Huckle & Sterling, 1996).


Bengtsston, J., Ahnstrom, J. & Weibull, A. (2005). The effects of organic agriculture on biodiversity and abundance: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology, 42 (2), 261-269.

Chertow, M. & Esty, D. (eds) (1997). Thinking ecologically: The next generation of environmental policy. London: Yale University Press.

Gillman, J. (2008). The truth about organic gardening: benefits, drawbacks, and the bottom line. Michigan: Timber Press.

Harris, J. M. (2000). Basic principles of sustainable development. USA: Tufts University Press.

Huckle, J. & Sterling, S. (1996). Education for sustainability. London: Earth scan Publications.

Ingram, M. (2007). Biology and Beyond: The Science of ‘‘Back to Nature’’ Farming in the United States. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 97 (2), 298-312.

Orr, D. W. (1996). Educating for the environment: Higher education’s challenge of the next century. The Journal of Environmental Education, 27, 7-10.

Stanhill, G. (1990). The comparative productivity of organic agriculture. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment, 30(1-2), 1-26.

Watson, C. A., Atkinson, D., Gosling, P., Jackson, L. R & Rayns, F. W. (2002). Managing soil fertility in organic farming systems. Soil Use and Management, 18, 239-247.

Wheeler, S. A. (2008). What influences agricultural professionals' views on organic agriculture? Ecological Economics, 65, 145-154.

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