Produce delivery companies know that they would be nowhere without the dedicated farmers that oversee the land, grow healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, and create local jobs in the process. Companies like The FruitGuys help local farms implement sustainable farming practices that help them stay afloat during the offseason. After all, farmers need to pay their bills and feed their families not only during the bounty of harvest time, but all year round.
The FruitGuys are concerned not just about the present but about the future. That’s why they support and help to fund farm-management approaches that not only help farmers make a decent living wage, but also ensure that local farm lands are productive for generations to come.
What are Sustainable Farm Management Practices?
Essentially, sustainable farm-management practices help to ensure that nature’s bounty is available not just for the foreseeable future but for the long-term. Sustainability requires taking a holistic view of local lands, not simply to profit for them in the short-term, but to ensure that they will be thriving to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to future generations. Below are some of the practices that help to sustain the land for the future and also to help farmers continue to make a solid living wage.
• Without water, crops will wither and farm land will turn dry, dusty, and barren. Effective irrigation and water-conservation strategies maximize the resource of fresh water. Employing strategies to minimize erosion and wasteful water run-off also helps save water.
- Erosion control, planting hedgerows to keep dust at bay, and planting trees to cleanse the air all benefit air quality.
- Planting a diverse array of crops, incorporating livestock into farms, and leaving space for wildlife to thrive promote biodiversity.
- Without bees, there are no crops. Protecting native pollinators and promoting bee habitats ensures that these crucial insects will thrive.
- Environmentally friendly pest and weed control measures minimize harm to beneficial insects like bees and don’t negatively impact the soil. Weeding by hand, mulching, mowing, and cover cropping are examples of alternatives to combating weeds with herbicides.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing the use of fossil fuels by using alternative energy sources helps keep the air cleaner.
- Recycling and reusing materials minimizes wastes. Farm waste can be composted and used for biofuels.
- Using, buying, and preserving heirloom seeds and grafts rather than using genetically modified specimens preserves the integrity of crops.
- Securing third-party certification from groups like the USDA Organics Program, Demeter USA, and Bee Friendly Farming ensures a system of checks and balances for farmers striving to practice sustainable farming.
- Being good neighbors to other farmers and local residents, businesses, and schools is imperative to sustainability. This entails offering educational outreach and bringing safe, healthy products to market by harvesting at peak freshness, distributing locally, and following all food safety regulations.
- Being good employers ensures that there will be a steady flow of willing farm workers for the future. A good employer pays a fair wage, offers year-round employment opportunities, offers health insurance and sick days, and makes sure the workplace is safe and healthy for employees.