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I've read several articles claiming that only truly sustainable form of agriculture is one with medium size farms rotating fields and young forests in a slow cycle. And using crop rotations on the fields too. This is to naturally renew the capacity of the earth t grow stuff.
A big part of this system would be cattle, swine and poultry free roaming in the forest part of the farm.

Might have been called iron-age farming. Which brings to mind that I quite recently learned that the slash and burn agriculture was actually sophisticated and efficient form when there was more land than people. Once slashed and burned, the field gave three harvests per year: spring rye, summer barley and autumn turnip. The yield was also much better (at least at the time).
Of course, after three years, you had to start all over again. Which was fine until people realized timber is valuable and turnips are not.

by pelgus on Thu Mar 25th, 2021 at 07:12:03 AM EST
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What does the size of the farm have to do with it? A gigantic factory farm could follow the same crop rotation scheme. Robot shepherds could keep the stock under control.

The arguments for small farms seem to me to be mostly based on arguments about jobs and nostalgia for bucolic rural landscapes. Which is fine, but those argument should be placed front and center.

by asdf on Thu Mar 25th, 2021 at 09:56:21 PM EST
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