The practice of cultivating land, growing food, and raising livestock.
Glossary of terms
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): A system of involving the local food conscious consumers in a direct to consumer style marketings where the consumers "invest" in a farm for the growing season, and in return receive a weekly or monthly payout of fresh fruits and or vegetables. Many CSAs also include meats, cheeses, or other value added products in addition to fresh produce.
- Drip irrigation: A system of water irrigation that uses pipes and drip lines to irrigate crops, either directly at the soil surface or sub-surface at the root zone. This system can provide a number of benefits including weed reduction and water conservation.
- Farmers' market: A direct to consumer marketing approach where consumers purchase goods from growers and producers in a market setting.
- Flood irrigation: A style of traditional irrigation where fields are irrigated with surface water from acequia systems.
- Food miles: The distance food travels from the farm to your plate. On average food travels 1,500 miles, but by eating locally this number can be greatly reduced.
- Foodshed: A defined area from which food is grown, processed, purchased, and consumed. We currently have a global foodshed, with products coming from a variety of places around the world. The local food movement aims to bring the foodshed closer to home, with foodsheds ranging from 100 miles to a larger multi-state region.
- Free-range: A method of farming/ranching in which livestock are allowed to "roam freely," instead of being confined to a feeding stall or cage. The term is most commonly associated with but not limited to poultry. Similar terms include "cage free," "humanely raised," and "pastured livestock."
- Genetically Modified Organism (GMO): An organism that has had its genetic material altered through genetic engineering. In relation to food and agriculture, this would include, plants, seeds, and livestock that have been genetically engineered in a lab to increase yields, pest resistance, or enhance desired traits. GMOs are a major concern to communities trying to preserve native seeds and/or traditional practices.
- Grass-fed: A term to describe livestock that forage freely on grass and legume pastures, rather than being fed corn and grains in confined feedlots.
- Locavore: Someone who seeks out locally grown and produced foods. The word locavore was the New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year for 2007.
- Natural: This term is most often used to describe meats and other goods that are minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients or colors.
- No-till farming: A method of farming where the soil is not plowed or turned before planted. This method reduces erosion of both soil and nutrients, while increasing organic matter in the soil.
- Organic: Organic generally means a product that is certified to be grown and/or produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, hormones or antibiotics, and is GMO free. Someone can grow with organic methods but choose to not be certified.
- Value-added product: A raw agricultural product that has been modified or enhanced to be a product with a higher market value and / or a longer shelf life. Some examples include fruits made into pies or jams, meats made into jerky, and tomatoes and peppers made into salsa.
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