It can be one thing to build sustainably with the land that is provided, it's another concept entirely when it comes to using it sustainably. Lin Merage often finds that many real estate development projects provide a limited use for future sustainable goals beyond net-zero carbon and efficiency in resource usage. Because of this, Lin Merage has explored existing options and methods that can bring usability to the land after its development. This way, real estate investment plans can yield more benefits and growth beyond accruing value over time. This has led to an interest in Organic Farming.
Lin Merage has been building her experience and awareness of industry organizations that focus on organic farming initiatives, including the Organic Trade Association. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in 2014, roughly one-third of the Earth’s soil was degraded due to poor farming practices such as chemical-heavy farming and deforestation. The organization states it takes close to 1,000 years to replace three centimeters of topsoil.
According to the FAO, standard organic farming practices look to deter the determination of topsoil by employing several techniques. Organic farmers can perform crop rotation, symbiotic associations, inter-cropping, use of organic fertilizers, cover crops, and minimal tillage. All of these techniques and practices within the organic farming industry claim this promotes the longevity of topsoil and promotes nutrient retention.
What is crop rotation?
Crop rotation, as defined by the USDA, is the practice of planting an alternate crop species on a particular piece of land for each growing season. For example, during one season an organic farmer will plant corn and once the harvest is completed an entirely different crop will be planted for the concurrent season in this case potatoes. An example of an 8-year rotation would be:
beans (like soy)
This method is a key part of organic farming and is required for organic crop production because it can prevent soil diseases, pests, and weeds, and continues the healthy life of the soil. Alternatively, traditional farming will harvest the same crop over and over each season with the re-use of pesticides and fertilizers that will build up complications over time.
Lin Merage promotes organic farming
Lin Merage believes that organic farming is vital for the future of our homes and potential land development projects should consider land use to benefit the food production of communities. While there is a very evident housing crisis in the United States, there should always be a consideration of food and supply chain infrastructure to support the expansions of communities. Therefore, building and developing land should incorporate foresight for sustainable practices that can facilitate operations like organic farming.