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In natural ecosystems, soil over thousands of years old builds up as a mixture of biomass accumulated through the life and death of countless organisms, and also the breakdown of geological features in what is called [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomorphology geomorphology]. Current industrial practices were empowered by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug Normal Borlaug]'s effort while at the Rockerfeller Foundation in the 50s to put forward a "[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution Green Revolution]. The Green Revolution led to the rapid industrialization of agriculture. This included the injection of industrial chemicals for fertilizers and pesticides, homogenized see varieties and mass production, mechanized farming practices. While providing dramatic short term gains in production, over the long term these innovations led the rapid degradation of natural systems that build and sustain fertile lands.
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Integrated Farming (IF) refers to a particular [Bio-Intensive] farming practice where water based farming practices are used to create a high level of synergy within several farming activities. IF Systems typically uses bio-solids from feedlots and feed barns as a feedstock for bioreactors. Biowaste feedstocks are first used to generate energy through the stimulation of anaerobic bacteria, in an airtight reactor which can then be used for electrical generation and heating.  
 
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Often though the debate is quite narrow in that ecologists and industrialists debate about whether or not organic farming can sustain current production levels. What is still ignored in the mainstream (on both extremes of the agricultural debate) is that a paradigm shift is emerging that is moving humanity (whether it likes or not) away from conventional land based food production systems that require large amounts of land and heavy machinery (in order for the farms to be economically viable).
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An alternative to conventional farming has emerged that includes what are termed
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* Bio-intensive [[permaculture]], [[growbiointensive]], [[agroecology]], [[biodynamic]] farming practices optimize natural systems using organic, [[poly-culture]] food growing practices, so that small gardens can rival the productivity of large scale corporate farming monocultures.
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* Water based Integrated Farming Systems use digesters to process animal, plant and agro-industrial waste and then use hydraulic principles of water to optimize the growing process and may include aquaponics and pond-based agricultural systems.
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These systems are more productive than conventional agriculture because they are designed to complement and [[synergize]] naturally occurring processes by:
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* Maximizing the uptake/sequestration of gases (mainly carbon and nitrogen) from the atmosphere.
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* Creating synergistic loops within the growing ecosystem that lead to a permaculture type design that modifies natural ecosystems but augments (rather than obliterating them as industrialized agriculture does) making selective changes that optimize production.
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* Adding potent natural and organics fertilizers such as [[mineralized water]] and compost teas to maximize beneficial microbial that plants need to grow rapidly.
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Integrated Farming Systems typically uses bio-solids from feedlots and feed barns as a feedstock for bioreactors. Biowaste feedstocks are first used to generate energy through the stimulation of anaerobic bacteria, in an airtight reactor which can then be used for electrical generation and heating.  
      
Methane resulting from the Anerobic reactions in the reactor can be stored and then used at a basic level to create heat for cooking and hot water. At the larger, more ambitious scale Intergrated Farms can power fuel cells, microturbines and gas fired internal combustion engines as Combined Heating & Power units to produce electricity and heat for local use.  
 
Methane resulting from the Anerobic reactions in the reactor can be stored and then used at a basic level to create heat for cooking and hot water. At the larger, more ambitious scale Intergrated Farms can power fuel cells, microturbines and gas fired internal combustion engines as Combined Heating & Power units to produce electricity and heat for local use.  
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