Permaculture Tip of the Day – Veggie Tractor

When designing a permaculture system we often make liberal use of animal tractors (a permaculture technique of putting animals into cells for a short period of time to feed, and then moving them to another area. This has a multitude of benefits to the land, animals, humans, and ecosystem). When we design a permaculture system with swales, we are inadvertently creating interswales (the spaces in between the swales). There are only a few options to what we can do with the interswale and one of them is to crop it with annual (and perennial) crops.
In a permaculture system it is wise to tractor animals such as chickens, cows, or pigs to establish much greater nutrient density and greater diversity of life in the soil and vegetation. Once the animals have run the series of cells for a few seasons we can then start a “VEGGIE TRACTOR”. A veggie tractor works similar to an animal tractor. Just like with the animals, we move the crop at a given time interval, and in this case every season or once per year. Once cropped for that time period we then move on to another cell for the next season or year.
After each season or year we mulch the area with straw or hay (grown on site) and sow cover crop and grasses to regrow the cropped area. And since there is already nutrient in the soil, we then we leave it alone for a season to regrow before re-introducing the animals tractors back into the cells for grazing and feeding.
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