“Farming” redirects here.
Agriculture is the cultivation of land and breeding of animals and plants to provide food, fiber, medicinal plants and other products to sustain and enhance life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years; people gathered wild grains at least 105,000 years ago and began to plant them around 11,500 years ago before they became domesticated. Pigs, sheep, and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Crops originate from at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has in the past century come to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people worldwide still depend on subsistence agriculture.
Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage through contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, deforestation, antibiotic resistance, and growth hormones in industrially produced meat. Genetically modified organisms are widely used, although they are banned in several countries.
The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials (such as rubber). Classes of foods include cereals(grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meat, milk, fungi and eggs. Over one-third of the world’s workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the past several centuries.
The word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, “field”, which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, and cultūra, “cultivation” or “growing”. Agriculture usually refers to human activities, although it is also observed in certain species of ant, termite and ambrosia beetle. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to “produce commodities which maintain life, including food, fiber, forest products, horticultural crops, and their related services”. Thus defined, it includes arable farming, horticulture, animal husbandry, and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice often excluded
The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, and included a diverse range of taxa. At least 11 separate regions of the Old and New World were involved as independent centers of origin. Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops, emmer and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung, soy and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Domestic pigs had multiple centres of origin in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago. In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, coca, llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peruby 5,600 years ago, and was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was domesticated to maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have developed a number of hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism; examples are the Natufian culture in the Levant, and the Early Chinese Neolithic in China. Then, wild stands that had previously been harvested started to be planted, and gradually came to be domesticated.
adding page because of ideas such as..
NationSwell (@NationSwell) tweeted at 7:04 AM – 12 Oct 2018 :
In the first 3 years, they had a 92% success rate in preventing recidivism. Could farms be the solution to changing lives? https://t.co/vT18fh1Gqt (http://twitter.com/NationSwell/status/1050733834923323392?s=17)
NationSwell (@NationSwell) tweeted at 7:08 AM – 28 Oct 2018 :
This Detroit farm doesn’t just feed the community — it employs former inmates and addicts who need a second chance. Find out more: https://t.co/zz8pubSEIdhttps://t.co/d6xhzE2UnJ (http://twitter.com/NationSwell/status/1056533045573050369?s=17)
via Michel Bauwens here:
41 min – organic farming is local.. humanity spends 3x as much energy on transporting than producing.. t
seed freedom ness
FoodPrint (@foodprintorg) tweeted at 5:05 AM – 14 Dec 2018 :
The Indian environmentalist @drvandanashiva has helped establish 122 community seed banks in India & encouraged 5,000,000 farmers to convert to #organicfarming. Read more about Shiva in our tour of her Navdanya farm: https://t.co/fH0S4Ab2Sdhttps://t.co/0gZBPY1HTz (http://twitter.com/foodprintorg/status/1073549455704547329?s=17)
Esko Kilpi (@EskoKilpi) tweeted at 6:33 AM – 29 Dec 2018 :
“farmers livestreaming their work has become a hit in China – so much so that one of the country’s biggest ecommerce platforms has set up a special program to train them” https://t.co/cp3QQL9POT Ping @CillaLonnqvist (http://twitter.com/EskoKilpi/status/1079007603953463296?s=17)
David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) tweeted at 3:24 AM on Sat, Feb 16, 2019:
The tropical Neolithic of Amazonia was a relaxed affair – they domesticated local plants but basically decided not to farm them. Trying farming on for size (“play farming” if you like) has parallels elsewhere. It often went on for 1000s of years of history
David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) tweeted at 5:02 AM – 19 Feb 2019 :
The end of the last Ice Age is usually associated with the beginnings of farming. But it was also a Golden Age for forest-dwelling foragers, who built mainly in wood, and whose monuments are known only from chance survivals or occasional echoes in stone.
for there to be meaningful healing on this planet ‘impossibilities’ like more people growing food cannot remain impossible. we are indeed talking about a wholesale civilizational transformation
a model for a way forward might be found in russia. in 2003, russ9a promulgated the private garden plot act, which entitled every citizen to a tax-free private plot of several acres of land for gardening or recreation and accelerated the dacha and ecovillage movement. as of 2016, small plots provided nearly half of russia’s food.
psychiatric conditions in particular improve w interaction w nature, lending credence to the view that most of them are symptoms of ‘nature deficit disorder’.. conditions like adhd, depression, and anxiety often improve or disappear entirely when the individual interacts regularly and meaningfully w the natural world. the healing of individuals, society and the world go hand in hand
David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) tweeted at 4:28 PM on Mon, May 06, 2019:
At last! Some solid data and detailed analysis of wild plant use at #GöbekliTepe. And it very much confirms what we’d been thinking: a highly seasonal pattern of congregation and monument building, supported by the intensive production of festive foods. Great work! https://t.co/tcz0MpANXb
seed freedom ness