On Many Small Farms, Biointensive Operations Outdo Traditional Methods

Sep 13, 2016

Credit Cynthia Raiser Jeavons / Ecology Action

Tiny, biointensive farms around the world have been showing small ag operations how they can grow far more food with newer methods than with conventional approaches, reports ensia.com.

Biointensive farming incorporates a host of methods, including transplanting and double-digging. The newer strategy also involves on-site composting, close plant spacing, use of seeds from naturally-pollinated plants, and the use of specific food-to-compost crop ratios.

Due to mechanization, large farms see larger profits by forgoing these strategies. But for a small operation, biointensive strategies can be life-changing. On a small patch of land, a biointensive farm can use 99 percent less energy to produce the same amount of food as a conventional farm. They can sometimes also use 80 percent less water and 100 percent less fertilizer,