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Small-scale ecosystems for self-sustaining agriculture
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.
||There are some aspects of farming you
don't seem to have grasped - although I
won't pretend to be a master farmer
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.
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
||//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.
||You have invented the meadow.
||Watch out for philosophical penguins.
||Have a look at permaculture and fukuoka's "one straw revolution". many crops can in fact be grown in the same field.