• F.H. King

Don't Get It Twisted! Agroecology vs. Ecological Agriculture

Pictured above: Chinampas, or floating gardens, an agroecological method practiced by Indigenous Mexicans.

When we think of the sustainable agriculture for the future, most of the time we have an image of an agricultural system that is environmentally sound. We are thinking of sustainability in terms of the biosphere, soil and erosion, the environment, climate change, pesticides and herbicides, and such related environmental topics. What were we are thinking of here is ecological agriculture.

But what if I told you there was more? Agroecology is focused on all of these topics, but pushes forward and tries to understand the affects of agriculture on environmental and social justice, gender roles, labor rights, land use, and a much wider variety of ideas all relating back to what we grow, and how we grow them. These ideas can also be thought about in terms of sustainability. Agroecology searches for what practices can really create change and ultimately build towards a better future for us and for the earth.

And then the question becomes: are all of these separate notions really mutually exclusive? Or does pushing forward in one aspect really mean finding a comprehensive way to address all of these issues, all at once?