Farm Blog

Place Order
Organic mixed farms vs. conventional monocultures

Posted by: Trevor

May 6, 2013

In agriculture, the term "monoculture" describes the practice of growing a single crop or species over a large area, for years at a time. Monocultures are typical in today's industrial farming model.

The reason behind monoculture farming is simple: economies of scale. Large harvests. Minimal labor. Cheap food.

But there's a downside. Diseases spread quicker. Pathogens multiply more readily. Pests become more concentrated. Soils become depleted. The land loses its resilience. Food quality is reduced. The list goes on.

In response, industrial farms simply apply more pharmaceuticals. More agro-chemicals. More synthetic fertilizers. And now, transgenic seeds.

The soil, once teeming with billions of microbes, becomes sterile. The pollinator species disappear. The nutrient density of the food plummets. Instead of exploding with life, the modern industrial farm becomes an engine of death.

But thankfully, things are beginning to change. Local, organic mixed farms are gaining momentum. Consumers are thinking before they eat. Communities are benefiting.

Mixed farming is the opposite of monoculture. Cattle, crops, pigs, poultry --- all on one farm. Multiple uses. Diversity of species. Resilience. This isn't new, it's simply a return to traditional farming practices. Farms bursting with life.

Nature is like that. We typically don't see monocultures in the wild. Rather we see an extravagant abundance of species.

And so another important element of a living farm is wildlife. Thousands of species, from microscopic insects to songbirds to lynxes to bats to voles. They all play a role in a healthy farm.

And so below are some pictures of our farm which I took this past weekend. I hope you like them:


A boggy forested area on our farm.


Frogs and skunk cabbage. Bear delicacies.


A bear cub scampers up a tree.


Actually, 3 bear cubs!

This is one of our boggy forests, filled with skunk cabbage and thousands of frogs. As I took these pictures, I heard a mother bear crashing through the bush, her three cubs scampering up a tree just 50 feet away. I had to hurry as I took the pictures --- I was way too close to the cubs and their mother.

By keeping portions of our farm wild, we encourage beneficial bugs, we maintain a diversity of pollinator species, we build a healthy soil ecology, and we cultivate a beautiful landscape. This, and so much more.

Thank you for supporting our local, organic family farm.


Other Farm Blog Posts

September 11, 2017Better Than Garlic Butter, Whipped Lard Is So Good
March 17, 2016Chicken Bone Broth - A Healthy Start to Your Day
March 7, 2016Making Ultra-Nutritious Beef Back Ribs
February 25, 2016How To Make Super Healthy Pork Rinds
February 16, 2016A Delicious And Easy Way To Boost Your CoQ10 Intake
February 9, 2016How To Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D From Pork
August 28, 2015Air-Chilled Chicken: 4 Reasons It's Better
March 19, 2015This Orphan Lamb Is Too Cute!
March 12, 2015These Fascinating Meat-Sheep Are New Additions To Our Farm
September 9, 2014These Pigs Are Having A Picnic In The Forest, Watch Them Having Fun
July 11, 2014Why Happy Cows Love Rotational Grazing... Watch As They Get Moved
June 18, 2014Watch As These Happy Chickens Enjoy Life, On The Grass And In The Sun
June 15, 2014She Went Vegan To Cure Her IBS
June 4, 2014Just Born: New Piglets, And They're Absolutely Adorable
May 20, 2014Alpaca's Getting Haircuts, Just In Time For Summer
May 11, 2014Baby Calves Galore, Momma Cow Has Twins
May 1, 2014Pigs On Spring Pasture At Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2014Could West Coast Maple Syrup Be A Nutrient-Dense Superfood?
April 23, 2014How To Make Your Own West Coast Maple Syrup
April 18, 2014Watch Out For Local Suppliers Selling Fake Organic Food
April 16, 2014How to enjoy the benefits of wild Oregon grapes and thimbleberries
April 11, 2014A Traditional Festive Roasted Ham, With The Bone-In
April 2, 2014The astonishing super-nutrition of red marrow beef bones
December 10, 2013A Christmas Pig's Head Feast
November 20, 2013Buying your chicken in the US? It could be imported from China
November 14, 2013Rethinking seafood: 4 alarming reasons why it may be unhealthy
October 15, 2013Thanksgiving at Sumas Mountain Farms
September 17, 2013Lard: the momentum just keeps growing
August 21, 2013Another big health reason to buy organic, grass-only beef
July 25, 2013How to avoid dangerous fluoride levels in non-organic food
July 18, 2013Why grass-only beef has yellow fat, and why its better
July 9, 2013Shill scientists still bashing organic
April 19, 2013Why buying locally produced food isn't enough
April 1, 2013More reasons to love, experience lard
March 25, 2013Dandelion chickens on spring pasture
March 19, 2013Bees and bugs: pollinators in action on our farm
October 30, 2012Small-scale family farms under attack by local governments
October 10, 2012CKNW news "The Bill Good Show" interviews Sumas Mountain Farms
October 8, 2012CBC television news visits Sumas Mountain Farms
October 3, 2012Why organic, local, small scale agriculture is healthier & safer
August 8, 2012Reflections on Lard and vitamins A, D, E & K
June 27, 20126 reasons why pastured pigs are healthier and happier
June 25, 2012The best meatballs I've ever had
June 20, 2012Why organic farms are the best way to increase "green space"
June 18, 2012This tastes so good: Bacon-stuffed Pork Chops
June 11, 2012Cows on spring pasture
June 4, 2012Making parks more useful --- food security 101
May 29, 2012Reconstructing local food economies
May 22, 2012Why our eggs are totally soy-free
April 30, 2012A cow's life at Sumas Mountain Farms
April 24, 2012New Rideshare service allows customers to "carpool" their orders
April 21, 2012Now in stock: certified organic grass-only beef
April 18, 2012Reprieve: no GMO pigs in the food supply... for now
April 12, 2012Is food really too cheap?
March 21, 2012Easter hams are now in stock; more beef in 4 weeks
March 12, 2012Pork tenderloin is now back in stock: soy-free, certified organic, pastured, heritage breed
March 5, 2012Save the bees: What were doing this summer
February 27, 2012Producing and preparing your own food
February 20, 2012Bee wars: the next frontier in global food dominance
February 13, 2012False organic claims: How some local food-suppliers are misleading consumers...
February 6, 2012The best way to avoid eating Roundup
January 30, 2012Tapping big-leaf maple trees for sap
January 23, 2012Snowing on the farm
January 16, 2012What buying local food in the Lower Mainland actually looks like
January 9, 2012Pigs head: a healthy, traditional food
January 2, 2012Why local, organic food is important to our family
December 26, 2011Lard, Raw Milk, and Organ Meat: a formula for optimal health?
December 19, 2011Livin' Lardge: rendering pork lard, for health
December 9, 2011Organic pastured pork is now in-stock... and it's soy-free
December 6, 2011Maple Sap as an alternative to bottled water
December 1, 2011Soil: the wealth of nations