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Principles For Designing a Holistic Food System

PRINCIPLES FOR DESIGNING A HOLISTIC FOOD SYSTEM

Most people have an unconscious feeling that we can´t continue down the path we´re currently on. The supposed abundance witnessed on the shelves of our local grocery store might seem promising, but deep down we know that we can´t continue to outsource our need for food to a system that is so deeply indebted to the quickly depleting reserves of oil and other fossil fuels. We know that something needs to fundamentally change, and most of us understand that this change will most likely require us to get our own hands into the soil to begin to supply at least some of our own nutrition needs.

Before we get into the basics of how to grow your own food, it´s important to reflect on the importance of design. Growing your food in a sustainable way is much more than simply taking some seed, putting it in the ground and hoping something will grow. How we set up our gardens and fields and the principles behind our actions will largely determine if we´re successful growing an autonomous food supply.

PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

The following principles of design are important when it comes to maintaining the fertility of the soil that grows your food:

– Whatever you take from the soil, you must put back.
– Implement cover crops, mulch, and green manure.
– Rotate your crops on a yearly basis.
– Grow a diversity of plants, not all for food.

Let´s look at each of these design ideas individually:

Whatever you take from the soil, you must put back.

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