means materials that are or were once living, such as leaves, grass, agricultural
crop residues, or food scraps. Nature has a way of decomposing these organic
materials and naturally reusing them...just as a forest floor becomes
dense with humus. The decomposition process is called composting, and
the resultant material is compost.
Organic agriculture is a holistic system with the primary goal of optimizing the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals, and people. Management practices are carefully selected with an intent to restore and then maintain ecological harmony on the farm, its surrounding environment and ultimately the whole planetary ecosystem.
Sustainable agriculture involves practices that sustain natural resources and biodiversity, while still being economically viable. These practices may include the use of beneficial insects, the planting of cover crops, and/or the application of compost or mulch. Farmers who commit to sustainable practices don't necessarily give up all pesticides and herbicides. However, prior to spraying a pesticide, they are more likely to try ecologically sound alternatives, such as beneficial insects and pest monitoring.