Organic farmland restoration in Uruguay

2019 CEUruguay

Uruguayan organic farming advocate Alda Rodríguez holds a PhD in agricultural sciences and owns her own organic farm on formerly degraded land in the Uruguayan countryside. "Our countryside is depleted because of monocultures. In fact, the land in Uruguay is very suitable for agriculture, but most farmers opt for monocultures of grass and cattle. The agro toxins used in the meadows poisons our water and ends up in the food chain. Biodiversity vanishes... When I started here 15 years ago, the land was very degraded and soil erosion was visible. Only some eucalyptus trees grew here. I planted more than 1,000 different trees and shrubs, native species of fruits and shrubs. Very soon, nature made a comeback. Did you notice the many birds and insects?” she asks, rhetorically, for their presence can’t be overlooked . . . “At the compost heap we recycle the biomass that is released on the farm. This way we return nutrients to the soil,” Alda tells us and grabs a hand of compost soil. It is dark and filled with worms. Ivar adds: “The more fertile the soil, the more carbon it can absorb. CO2 from the atmosphere is, as it were, captured in the soil. Good soil management is therefore also important for the climate!”

"Alda’s Organic Neighbourhood Farm (URY) – Sailors for Sustainability," Sailors for Sustainability, May 25, 2019.

Image: Dinesh Valke via Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)