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Biodiversity vs. Monoculture

If the farmer grows produce, I look for birds. Birds mean small little creatures. Small little creatures mean insects. Insects mean the farmer doesn't abuse his pesticides. -- Douglas Gayeton

Biodiversity on a farm creates an integrated food web allowing biota to self-regulate with no pesticides needed. In a monoculture system, biodiversity struggles to exist. A farmer in California demonstrates to us the dramatic visual line that divides biodiversity and monoculture.

Biodiversity in agriculture is a very old concept — one that has allowed for the flourishing of our cultures and societies, for civilization as a whole. Why is this so? Because farms are ecosystems in and of themselves. A healthy ecosystem facilitates biodiversity and is able to maintain itself. Without biodiversity, farms require a huge amount of input to thrive. 

To help nourish agricultural biodiversity, bio-regionalists act as local stewards and seed collectors. In a sense, they are deep locavores. They seek out seeds that thrive in their bioregion and they work to strengthen local biodiversity by seeding the food system. 

Integrating wildlife and farmlife is key to the success of a farm. How do you build and support biodiversity in your bioregion?

This week's terms

Monoculture

Monocultures are crop stands featuring a single species. These are characteristic of large-scale industrialized agriculture, where uniformity and regularity facilitate mechanized operations.

Bioregion

Our bio-region, our domestic eco-culture has a unique set of circumstances defined by climate and soil. Some things flourish here while others are diminished in life force. We seek out seeds that thrive. We love them, live from them, share in their thriving. We also strive to find things marginal and adapt and strengthen them in order that there be more biodiversity for us to live from (which runs in opposition to the principles of monoculture).

Biodiversity

Weeds + trees + crops + critters + soil = an integrated food web allowing biota to self-regulate with no pesticides needed.

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