One must wonder how land will stay fertile while doing organic farming no major chemical fertilizers is used. There are many methods to maintain the soil fertility without subjecting the land to exposure to chemicals and other harmful treatments. Shifting Agriculture is one interesting system of agriculture which will benefit the soil fertility. In this method, a plot of land is prepared and cultivated for a short time. Once the crop is harvested, instead of tilling and cultivating the same land with a different crop, the plot is left abandoned for a while. Slowly the land will revert to its natural vegetation. Meanwhile the farmer would have moved on to cultivating in a different plot of land.
The shifting agriculture method often uses the slash and burn method as a way of land clearing. Like the method name suggests, once you cultivate the yield from the plot, you slash whatever rest is standing. The only things left out would be stumps and large trees. Once everything is chopped down, it is burned so that the resultant ash will lie there to enrich the soil again. It is also interesting to note that to cultivate in a plot of land using this method, a hoe or a digging stick is utilized instead of a regular plow.
Shifting agriculture is considered to be an optimal way to maintain the quality of the soil without having to use any fertilizers. The important step is to not exhaust the fertility of the soil beyond certain limit. In this method, the land is abandoned to replenish its fertility after a short period of cultivation.