Every time I look at my front window I feel extremely lucky. Well, I feel extremely lucky most of the time but the view out of my front window makes me feel particularly lucky because of the beauty of the place that is my home. Our farm is 95 acres and includes open fields, wetlands and ponds, forest, hills and other mini ecosystems including the farmed ones. The beauty of the place comes largely from the biodiversity that we have and that as farmers, we work hard to take care of. In the modern context farming often lacks biodiversity to the extreme with huge fields devoid of trees or uncultivated land, wetlands drained, hedgerows removed. This monotony is, in my opinion, strongly lacking in beauty but it also lacks important ecological diversity that is necessary for the health of our ecosystems and communities.
Organic agriculture strongly supports biodiversity on farms by recognizing the importance of biodiversity to farm resilience, especially in regards to soil health but also to overall ecosystem health on the farm. Organic farmers, us included, work to maintain biodiversity by maintaining hedgerows and forests, un-tilled areas, pollinator attracting wild spaces and plants and by supporting wetlands, forests and other diverse spaces on the farm. We also work to keep up our soil biodiversity through soil preserving farming practices like minimized tillage, cover cropping and rotation, the use of compost and so on.
The result on our farm is tangible. One of the ways that I can see it is the view through my front window. There I see (and hear!) many species of birds, insects and other animals like snakes, turtles and frogs. I can smell the blooming trees and flowers recognize native plant species. All of which makes me feel incredibly lucky not just because all this stuff is beautiful but because it contributes to the resilience and sustainability of our farm for ourselves and our community.