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A polyculture by any other name

The term polyculture is mostly synonymous with the permaculture term guild, and with the term companion planting term companion group.

Polycultures in modern agriculture


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 grew 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 coverTemplate:No ref


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