Small-scale farmers produce food for 70% of the global population. According to the UK report from 2011 “Small is successful”,small farms on 10 or less acres could be successful.
Agroecology, a farming approach that mimics natural ecosystems, is an alternative method that can produce more food using fewer resources. Farmers also use agroecology to improve soil fertility, adapt to climate change, and reduce farming input costs.
Permaculture, a contraction of permanent agriculture, permanent culture is a promising design system for the application of biological agriculture, sustainability and agroecology. It was developed in Tasmania, Australia in the 1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. It is based on agroecology, sustainability and indigenous farming systems. In practice, permaculture farms are low-input,high and diverse output organic and biodiverse, and use techniques like intercropping trees, planting perennials, water harvesting, and resource recycling.
Successful examples for agriculture based on permaculture principles could be found all over the world, as the most renowned in Europe are the farm of Sepp Holzer in the Alps in Austria, the French farm BecHellouin in Normandy, also the USA brilliant example of Joel Salatin and of course many great examples elsewhere worldwide including Australia and New Zealand.
Resourcesforbeginningfarmersatthe New EnglandSmallFarmInstitute’sExploringtheSmallFarmDreamsite.