Working with nature rather than against her has always been the rule of thumb for backyard farmers. Some are organically certified because their markets reward it. Most aren’t, but they know that being organic-based makes financial and practical sense at our scale of operation. We can’t afford pesticides and herbicides, and using them in densely populated areas where a lot of us are farming poses health risks for our neighbors. So for us, organic is a practical choice.

With the declining bee populations, more and more of them are planting pollinator habitat to support bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, and lesser known beneficial insects because this, too, makes practical sense. Bugs are their business partners, helping them to grow their crops, and now even serving as a paid attraction on their farms. Some of thme are hosting butterfly and firefly festivals so neighbors can learn to value their environmentally-friendly growing practices and also get up close and personal with nature. Farmers of all sizes may soon be paid for the positive environmental services they provide. In the meantime backyard farmers continue to play their parts, and seize opportunity, wherever it crops up.

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