1. In the organizations I work with, "sustainable
agriculture" includes attention to the sustainability
of farm families, farm workers, and rural communities.
Although many "organic" farmers may also strive to
make their farming systems more sustainable for farm
families, workers, and communities, most definitions
of "organic" do not address these aspects directly.
2. Unscrupulous people from many camps may have
attempted to co-opt the term "sustainable" to mean
whatever they are doing, but this should not detract
from the fine farmers who are improving their farming
methods under this banner. Although I sometimes slip
up, I try to refer to these farmers as "farming more
sustainably," not as "sustainable farmers." By using
the term this way it puts the emphasis on a PROCESS,
and not on some rigidly defined system that may not
be best in all situations.
3. Like Bart, some of the finest farms I have seen define
themselves as "organic." But many other "organic" farms
are very un-sustainable. Likewise, some farmers who
call themselves "sustainable" are doing nothing to sustain
their soil, their workers, or their community. But many
farmers who could never qualify as "organic" by defined
standards have nurtured systems of agriculture that have
sustained their soils, their families, and their communities
for hundreds of years (i.e: the Amish).
I work with the Southern Sustainable Agriculture
Sent: February 6, 1996 10:31 pm PST Item: R00LOGP