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Permaculture Techniques - Sustainable Harvesting
The creation of an organic productive, energy-efficient and balanced system where diversity and design lead to perpetual yields through recycling of materials and nutrients in a continuous interdependent cycle. It involves a natural succession of seeding, growing and dying, with the aim of decreasing external inputs into the system, until the system is able to maintain itself. It involves seed collection and vegetative propagation, and management of breeding cycles in animals and birds.
- Cost and energy savings.
- Waste reduction through recycling and judicious selection of inputs.
- Maximising use of inputs into the system using the principle of multiple functions, zoning (siting of elements), plant stacking and companionability, animal and plant integration.
- Buffer against adverse conditions (particularly in respect to species diversity and siting).
- High yielding.
- Understand the site and its characteristics, with respect to soil, climate, micro-climate, existing structures and features, solar access, etc. Preserve marginal sites for returning to natural ecosystems.
- Determine goals in terms of desired sustainable harvest. Research requirements, including accessing people resources. Consider aquaculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, other possible yields of site.
- Devise a plan or map on paper.
- Start small, but diverse - produce successful yields in manageable areas, increasing area managed as time, resources and experience permit. Get one area under control before moving on.
- Position elements (plants, animals, structures) carefully according to the requirements researched.
- Planning includes temporal considerations - when elements need attention, that is, sowing, feeding, harvesting for food or renewal, or animal yields (eggs, feathers, meat, manure, etc). Keeping a journal or diary record is recommended.
- Employ organic gardening and animal husbandry techniques to ensure maximum health and vitality of system.
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