A Teen Discussion on Permaculture & Sustainable Agriculture

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This audio piece was written and recorded by students in Mrs. Gimma’s production class at New Roots Charter School in Ithaca, NY. Youth Voice students explore environmental science topics of personal interest while learning production skills from WSKG’s youth media curriculum. 

Permaculture and Sustainable Agriculture:  Two growing agricultural businesses in America

Large farming requires high maintenance and very often the need for chemicals and pesticides to keep up with the high yielding needs. This is proven to be very unhealthy for consumers.

More recently in Central New York and other parts of the world, farmers find that small farm operations, such as permaculture or sustainable agriculture, is worth the extra cost. It creates healthier crops and supports smaller business instead of large mono-cropping corporations.YouthVoice2 logo

Most individuals believe that permaculture and sustainable agriculture are the same thing.  However, there are some differences: Permaculture is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Sustainable agriculture is the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.

Permaculture is a system that uses what is known as the fertilizer loop by creating healthy soil and diversity of produce.  It aims not to pollute the surrounding environment.  It also uses design to minimize the garden chores and energy input.  Permaculture activists work hard at reducing their ecological footprints and encouraging the development of healthy lifestyles.

The most noticeable differences between permaculture and sustainable agriculture is that, in sustainable agriculture gardens, there is rarely bare soil and the conservation of soil and water is a high priority. There is also a complex use of space. The permaculture system aims to harvest and maximize water, sun and other natural energy, such as wind, dust, leaves, and animal droppings. The sustainable agriculture system aims to provide nutritious food and habitat for people and native animals.

Mono-crop farming is cheaper to produce, however, its products can be dangerous to the human body and the environment due to chemical use and closed animal caging. Whereas environmental farming methods, such as permaculture and sustainable farming, produce environmentally friendly alternatives that are healthier to all living things.

Student Producers

Written by: Noah Brown
Voiced by: Noah Brown
Equipment Support: Irene Case

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Youth Voice is funded by a grant from the PARK Foundation.

 

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