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Mini-Eco Farm

Small-scale ecosystems for self-sustaining agriculture
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Our food sources take a lot of attention, but there may be a solution. I propose a movement to change farms into balenced ecosystems, where there is enough growing for all the animals to eat natually, without preparation and distribution of feed by humans. Where the balence of the plants naturally maintains the levels of the soil and everything either regrows and seeds the soil with its offspring before harvesting.

Something like 80 to 90 percent of our corn in the US is fed to cows, but if combinations of crops were grown in the fields to provide a naturally balenced diet, no intervention in the lives of the animals would be needed until the time to milk or butchter. Even proper numbers of predators could be included in these balenced farms to keep the herbovore population in check to ensure proper levels of the feed-plants, to feed all the livestock.

ironfroggy, Jun 19 2006

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       There are some aspects of farming you don't seem to have grasped - although I won't pretend to be a master farmer myself.
A lot of crops can't be grown in the same field as others for example, some require different acidities in the soil, some take far longer to reach the stage at which they can be harvested.
Also, some farmers do indeed leave a number of fields to their own devices, but that is generally due to rotation of crops, or sometimes litigation requiring that they only grow and harvest a certain amount of crop (These fields being over-run with weeds). This second point is the reason why you might see farmers offering activites such as paintballing etc - as they are left with fields they can't use, and which will cost money to maintain otherwise.
fridge duck, Jun 19 2006
  

       //Where the balence of the plants naturally maintains the levels of the soil// ..this is known as crop rotation. Or at least it was when I was taught geography at school.   

       Keeping predatots to 'keep the herbovore population in check'... I think most farmers would prefer to sell cows rather than give them to wolves, even if this causes problems in the long run. Farming is an economic enterprise, at the end of the day. And in this country it's not an easy one, either. What you're proposing is essentially a low-density farming model, which is going to require a lot of land and a lot of labour to farm successfully. I'm afraid that simply isn't going to cut it in economic terms. Unless you propose subsidies... oh, no, wait, we do that already.
moomintroll, Jun 19 2006
  

       You have invented the meadow.   

       Watch out for philosophical penguins.   

       One bun for you.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 19 2006
  

       Have a look at permaculture and fukuoka's "one straw revolution". many crops can in fact be grown in the same field.
BunsenHoneydew, Jun 22 2006
  
      
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