Polyculture, n. 1. The simultaneous cultivation or exploitation of several different crops or animals.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Bad Ag = Fewer Tasty Fish
Thanks at least partially to fertilizer runoff and idiotic dams, salmon stocks are down dramatically. Farmer's can't steal most of their inputs, but often they are allowed to dump their outputs without paying any sort of cost.
Humans once relied on hundreds of different plants and animals for food. Later, when we developed agriculture, we relied on varieties adapted for every conceivable condition. These were polycultures. Unfortunately, modern agriculture is based around just a few crops in bland standardized varieties -- monocultures. Fortunately a grassroots movement has emerged to bring back polyculture in the form of small local farms, native seeds, and traditional foods.