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Organic Food and Farming for All


Written by Plant With Purpose on March 15, 2016 in General

By Tandy Johnson

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Close your eyes and imagine a farmer. Do you see a man on a tractor in a golden field of wheat? I thought so.

Contrary to the conventional image, farmers and their farms come in all shapes and sizes. Many Plant With Purpose partnering farmers are women, and their farms are not fields of wheat but steep degraded hillsides.

On National Agriculture Day we celebrate the hard work and success of small farming families. Our partnering farmers pour time and energy into their “small but mighty” plots in hopes to feed their children and make a profit. Using sustainable agriculture techniques, families are in fact revitalizing their land and growing hope for a better future.

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Tanzanian farmers are discovering creative ways to maximize crop yields and keep their soil healthy. Piles of soil with green leaves sprouting from the surface are a common sight on partnering farms. This “double dug” method of mixing compost in with the soil has proved to increase crop yields by up to 80 percent due to healthy soil and increased surface area.

Organic farming practices have been met with great enthusiasm. The PGS, or Participatory Guarantee System is a peer-reviewed process for verifying produce being grown organically. The process and protocol was developed by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM). The process ensures accountability for implementing organic practices. By utilizing new techniques, diversifying crops, and committing to grow organically, Tanzanian farmers are enjoying healthier soil, healthier crops, and healthier families.

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While farming may look very different for Plant With Purpose partners than it does for a Midwestern commercial food grower, we honor all practices of agriculture. Take time to appreciate the food you eat today. Think about where it came from and who was involved in its production? And why not visit a local farm or farmer’s market! Or celebrate by providing a Plant With Purpose partnering farmer with the tools and training for a family garden.


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