GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Lost in the verbiage? Here's a list of commonly used terms on our site.

ACRE

a unit of land area equal to 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet

AGRICULTURE

the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.

ATMOSPHERE

the envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet.

CARBON (DIOXIDE)

a heavy colorless gas that is formed by burning fuels, by the breakdown or burning of animal and plant matter, and by the act of breathing and that is absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis.

CARBON FOOTPRINT

the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.

CHEMICAL

a compound or substance that has been prepared or purified, especially artificially.

COMPOST

noun - the finished product of decomposed materials. 
verb - the process of decomposing organic matter.

DECOMPOSING

(of organic matter) in the process of decaying.

FARM

an area of land and its buildings used for growing crops and rearing animals, typically under the control of one owner or manager.

FERTILE

(of soil or land) producing or capable of producing abundant vegetation or crops.

FERTILIZER

a chemical or natural substance added to soil or land to increase its fertility.

FOOD DESERT

an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.

FOOD-LOOP

the life cycle of nutrient flows within a food system.

GMO - GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM

an organism whose genome has been engineered in the laboratory in order to favour the expression of desired physiological traits or the generation of desired biological products.

HEIRLOOM

a traditional variety of plant or breed of animal which is not associated with large-scale commercial agriculture.

LANDFILL

a place to dispose of refuse and other waste material by burying it and covering it over with soil, especially as a method of filling in or extending usable land.

MATTER

a substance or material.

METHANE GAS

a colorless odorless flammable gaseous hydrocarbon CH4 that is a product of biological decomposition of organic matter and of the carbonization of coal, is used as a fuel and as a starting material in chemical synthesis, and is the simplest of the alkanes

MINERALS

a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence needed by the human body for good health.

NATIVE

of indigenous origin or growth.

NUTRIENTS

a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.

ORGANIC

produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents.

PERMACULTURE

humans living in a way that enriches our natural resources (soil/forest/water), leading to an indefinite (or permanent) habitation on planet Earth; the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

REGENERATIVE FARMING

describes farming practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.

SOIL

the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles.

SUSTAINABLE

able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

SYNTHETIC

made by chemical synthesis, especially to imitate a natural product.

TILL

a process involving turning over the first 6 – 10 inches of soil before planting new crops. Tillage loosens and removes any plant matter covering the soil, leaving it bare. Bare soil, especially soil that is deficient in rich organic matter, is more likely to be eroded by wind and water. Tilling also displaces and/or kills off the millions of microbes and insects that form healthy soil biology. The long-term use of deep tillage can convert healthy soil into a lifeless growing medium dependent on chemical inputs for productivity.

TOP SOIL

the top layer of soil of earth.