An organism is a living individual thing made up of various parts that depend on each other and that work together to support the life processes. It is any form of animal, plant or microscopic life.

The word is also the basis for the term "organic farming". That refers to treating the farm as an organism, that is one made up of many inter-dependent parts that function better as a whole than on their own.

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The farm is seen as a living thing. It is whole rather than a jumble of individual enterprises, plants, animals, fields and structures. "Whole" here is as it is in "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts".

Note: Sometimes we use the word "organism" on this website, but generally we prefer "a living thing" or some other expression that is more conversational. We aim to use words that do not distance you from what you are reading and what you want to understand.

However, where we use more technical terms, we usually set out to explain them immediately if there is no link to an explanation. Let us know if you find anything on the site confusing.

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All material on this website is copyright 2007 Michael Burlace, The Organic Exchange Pty Ltd and others as shown. Material on this website may be downloaded and printed for your personal use only.

FarmRef and Organic Exchange are registered trademarks and Info you can walk out & use is a trademark of Michael Burlace.

This page was updated on December 27, 2007