Lets take an adventure into the world of sustainable farming by Clare Liang & Helena Lim
WHO WE AREThis is Hurlstone Agricultural High’s Year 10 Visual Arts class, we’re Helenaand Clare, and we’ll be guiding you through the meaning of sustainability,and how we can choose sustainable practices to enhance our quality oflives and protect what is left of our natural resources.
WHY THIS POWERPOINT WAS CREATEDThis PowerPoint was originally created in response to ARCHIBULLPRIZE, by gathering information from our sustainable farmingprojects we did at school, and merging them to form a hugePowerPoint. The ARCHIBULL PRIZE is a competition for selected schools to raise awareness of agriculture, in particular, sustainability, through means of art, which is eye catching and will get through to the audience. Each school were given 2 fibreglass bulls, and using any art making practice they wanted, they constructed a meaningful artwork out of them, representing sustainability, and unsustainability.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO STUDY AGRICULTURE ?GOOD QUESTION. The field of agriculture is becoming unpopular as more peoplechoose to take a career path in tertiary industries (i.e. clerks, accountants, lawyers)and thus feel that studying agriculture is unnecessary. However, agriculture remains avastly important aspect in our current lives. Without farmers to grow crops,horticulturalists to plant, grow and maintain vegetation, we could potentially end upwith food shortage. It is of huge benefit to anyone who chooses to study agriculture.They can grow their own vegetables, saving up on food costs, and if they take a likingto the subject, they may also consider a career in agriculture, and help contribute tothe resolving the food crisis.
So good so far..But, what farming practices should we use to maintain a sustainable environment? Actually, No.... There are many sustainable farming practices that a farmer can use to improve their profitability (economically sustainable), while doing minimal damage to their farm (environmentally sustainable). Examples include: zero tillage, crop rotation, hydroponics, trickle/micro jet irrigation and many more .
Where there is a small dripper fromwhich water drips into the soil,allowing water to slowly seep intoplant roots. They are commonly usedin orchards, especially involvingcitrus, backyard gardens andvegetable patches Similar to using a sprinkler with a small head located on the ground that emits over a large area with the water being under pressure. They are commonly used on huge farm enterprises
It uses less water overall than all other irrigation methods. Water doesn’t run off or evaporate, going straight to the root zone. (Trickle irrigation) Expensive mechanisms / machines aren’t necessary. Less money spent on water usage and soil standards remain the same.
HYDROPONICS . Growing plants without soil, and using water to give the plant the required nutrients instead. It may be grown either with or without a solid medium other than soil, i.e. rock. IT CAN BE USED BY / IN : Everyday households Amateurs who enjoy growing plants as a hobby and want to simply explorethe world of hydroponics. Although it may seem difficult, it is suited to any plant enterprise, especiallythe commercial production of tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, chrysanthemumsand carnations.
REPLACING THE UNSUSTAINABLE TRADITIONAL FARMING MACHINES USED TO FIELD BASED CULTIVATE AGRICULTURE LAND PRODUCE USES UP TOO CO2 WHICH IS MUCH WATER. BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. SOIL EROSION USE OF OCCURS. CHEMICALS TO GET RID OF WEEDS AND PESTS ORIGINATING FROM SOIL.
WHY SHOULD WE USE HYDROPONICS?- Better control over pH levels of soil and nitrogen levels, etc. Thus you can make sure plants grow optimally.- Physical labour (digging, cultivation, fertilising, irrigation), is not required.- More yields – plants grown using hydroponics method produce 2 – 4 times the yield in soil.- Water is conserved.- Disease problems in soil and weeds are eliminated.- Crop rotation / fallowing is not necessary, since plants can be used 2 times.
WHAT IS CROP ROTATION?Crop rotation is the practise of planting different families ofcrops in an area (in a sequence) for various benefits. It is oneof the oldest and most effective cultural control strategies,dating back to the Roman era. By the 19th century , manyfarmers used a 4 year rotation cycle of wheat. Barely (rootcrop and nitrogen fixing crop).Monoculture took over when farmers found that they coulduse pesticide and chemicals to improve the soil, but now,there are organic farmers who rely entirely on crop rotation tomaintain soil health and yield. WHERE IS CROP ROTATION USED?All types of farm enterprises can use crop rotation, but it isfound more often in vegetable production.Crop rotation can be applied in all gardens, particularlyvegetable gardens at home.
REPLACING THE UNSUSTAINABLE MONOCULTURE This is the production or growing of a single crop (or crop from thesame family) over a large area, every season. Machines or weed killersand pesticides are used to control weeds, and fertilizers are used to reduce the strain on soil nutrients. Yields typically decline. Farmer is completely dependent on chemicals and machinery which ultimately pollute the land, the water, and the food they’re producing. Soil structure problems occur. Soil fertility decreases. Ecosystem diversity and habitat structure reduces. Soil borne disease build up and spread quickly.
SUSTAINABILITY THREATENED BY SUBURBIAN GROWTHWith many houses and buildings being builtover fertile farmland in areas such as: - Suburbs (urban sprawl), and - Coastal lands (since it is an ideal place for humans to live)…it is no wonder that farms and land whichwould be extremely suitable for farms arebecoming scarce, also leading to the increaseof cost in production of food.
THE ENDSo which sustainable farming practice will you use? All images are from Google, Scrappy Princess and Photobucket.
WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE SPONSORS OF THE 2010 CREAM OF THE CROP COMPETITIONPLATINUM GOLD SILVER BRONZE