A perennial agriculture for human settlements

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The cultivation of perennial fruiting crop species is thought to have begun more than 11,000 years ago. In order to cultivatethese species, human settlements had to remain stationary, a change that potentially affected the settlement patterns of some societies.

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What is perennial agriculture?

perennial agriculture, the cultivation of crop species that live longer than two years without the need for replanting each year. Perennial agriculture differs from mainstream agriculture in that it involves relatively less tilling and in some cases requires less labour and fewer pesticides, helping to maintain or even improve soil health.

What does permaculture mean to you?

A more current definition of permaculture, which reflects the expansion of focus implicit in Permaculture One, is ‘consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs’.

What inspired Holmgren to write Permaculture One?

Their wide-ranging conversations and gardening experiences encouraged Holmgren to write the manuscript that was to be published in 1978 as Permaculture One. “I wrote the manuscript, which was based partly on our constant discussions and on our practical working together in the garden and on our visits to other sites in Tasmania…

What are the best books about permaculture?

Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture For Human Settlements. This is the book that started it all. In 1974 David Holmgre met Bill Mollison at the College of Advanced Education in Hobart. The two found they shared a strong interest in the relationship between human and natural systems.

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Why are perennial crops important?

Compared with annual crops, perennial crops have extensive root systems, making soil particles difficult to dislodge and thereby limiting soil erosion. Erosion is further reduced by the limited amount of tilling needed to maintain the crop. In addition, since perennial crops do not need to be replanted every year, they require less labour than annuals, and perennials tend to grow rapidly in the spring, enabling them to outcompete annual weeds. They also have adapted over time to deal with local insects and diseases and therefore generally require fewer pesticide applications than annuals. Moreover, their large root systems enable them to cope with environmental stressors, such as drought or irregular rainfall, and they are able to sequester carbon more efficiently than annuals. Perennial grains also potentially could be bred to imitate some of the key aspects of threatened grasslands by providing habitat for wildlife and improving or maintaining soil health, while also producing food for human consumption.


How does perennial farming differ from mainstream agriculture?

Perennial agriculture differs from mainstream agriculture in that it involves relatively less tilling and in some cases requires less labour and fewer pesticides, Perennial agriculture, the cultivation of crop species that live longer than two years without the need for replanting each year. Perennial agriculture differs from mainstream agriculture …


What is perennial agriculture?

Perennial agriculture, the cultivation of cropspecies that live longer than two years without the need for replanting each year. Perennialagriculturediffers from mainstream agriculture in that it involves relatively less tillingand in some cases requires less labour and fewer pesticides, helping to maintain or even improve soilhealth.


How long have fruiting crops been around?

The cultivation of perennial fruiting crop species is thought to have begun more than 11,000 years ago . In order to cultivate these species, human settlements had to remain stationary, a change that potentially affected the settlement patterns of some societies. Nonetheless, humans benefited from perennial fruit crops, which were less labour-intensive and had a relatively long lifespan—producing food for many years after a single planting—compared with food-producing plants that required annual planting. Over generations of artificial selection, the species were refined to produce increasingly palatable fruit. Later, the use of perennial species expanded to forage crops, such as alfalfa, and the production of timber crops to produce building materials.


What is a pesticide?

Pesticide, any toxic substance used to kill animals, fungi, or plants that cause economic damage to crop or ornamental plants or are hazardous to the health of domestic animals or humans.


What are the different types of crops?

By use, crops fall into six categories: food crops, for human consumption (e.g., wheat, potatoes); feed crops, for livestock consumption (e.g., oats, alfalfa); fibre crops, for cordage and textiles (e.g., cotton, …. tillage. Tillage, in agriculture, the preparation of soil for planting and the cultivation of soil after planting.


What is a crop?

crop, in agriculture, a plant or plant product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. By use, crops fall into six categories: food crops, for human consumption (e.g., wheat, potatoes); feed crops, for livestock consumption (e.g., oats, alfalfa); fibre crops, for cordage and textiles (e.g., cotton,…


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