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{{Article summary|is a term used to describe an agricultural practice of growing together plants which have beneficial [[plant association|associations]] or do not compete for resources to maximise crop yield while reducing the need for external inputs of chemical or organic fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides.}}
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{{Article summary|A polyculture is a combination of plants which are grown together to leverage their [[plant associations|beneficial associations]]. It is a form of [[intercropping]].}}
 
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==Other terms==
 
For the main article on this subject, please see [[Intercropping]]. The term polyculture is mostly synonymous with the permaculture term ''guild'', and with the term companion planting term ''companion group''.
 
 
 
==Polycultures in history==
 
==Polycultures in history==
 
Polycultures precede modern agriculture, and were much used throughout history to maximise crop yield on plots of land small enough to be managed without modern machinery. In Italy there is evidence that the practice of [[intercropping]] grape vines and ''[[Acer campestre]]'' (Field Maple) dates back to the late medieval period{{Ref | agro-italian}}. The Native Americans were known to grow a polyculture of beans, corn, and vine squash known as The Three Sisters: the corn providing structure for the beans to grow up while offering partial shade, the beans [[nitrogen fixer|fixing the soil with nitrogen]], and the vine squashes forming a dense [[ground cover]]{{Missing Ref}}
 
Polycultures precede modern agriculture, and were much used throughout history to maximise crop yield on plots of land small enough to be managed without modern machinery. In Italy there is evidence that the practice of [[intercropping]] grape vines and ''[[Acer campestre]]'' (Field Maple) dates back to the late medieval period{{Ref | agro-italian}}. The Native Americans were known to grow a polyculture of beans, corn, and vine squash known as The Three Sisters: the corn providing structure for the beans to grow up while offering partial shade, the beans [[nitrogen fixer|fixing the soil with nitrogen]], and the vine squashes forming a dense [[ground cover]]{{Missing Ref}}

Revision as of 15:16, 29 May 2012

Polycultures in history

Polycultures precede modern agriculture, and were much used throughout history to maximise crop yield on plots of land small enough to be managed without modern machinery. In Italy there is evidence that the practice of intercropping grape vines and Acer campestre (Field Maple) dates back to the late medieval period[1]. The Native Americans were known to grow a polyculture of beans, corn, and vine squash known as The Three Sisters: the corn providing structure for the beans to grow up while offering partial shade, the beans fixing the soil with nitrogen, and the vine squashes forming a dense ground cover[Reference needed!]


References

  1. ? Zachary Nowak Looking Back to the Future: Historical Polycultures in Central Italy Agroforestry News Vol 19 No 4 (2011/08/01)