To learn more, start your googling with these keywords: Annual plant: living for a year or less, perpetuating itself by seed Perennial plant: living for several years Polyculture: the simultaneous cultivation or exploitation of several crops or kinds of animals Natural systems agriculture: cropping systems based on processes found in nature Agroforestry: land use management that combines the cultivation of trees/shrubs with crops/pasture to create more productive and sustainable land-use systems Alley cropping: planting agricultural crops between rows of trees or shrubs.
If nonhuman nature could speak with a human voice, she’d sound a lot like Janine Benyus. Of course, human beings are a part of nature, not apart from it, and that has long been Janine’s most essential message. Her work as an ardent naturalist eventually led her to get under nature’s skin sufficiently to ask what is perhaps the most basic question people need to address to live sustainably on the land: What would nature do here? That deceptively simple query resulted in her momentous exploration of an emerging revolutionary approach to science and design chronicled in her landmark book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.
Janine is an educator and life sciences writer who has degrees in forestry, natural resource management, and English literature. She combines a deep appreciation of science with an abiding love of the natural world. And she is no armchair naturalist: she has written three great regional field guides and a sly animal behavior guide, Beastly Behaviors. She’s been a backpacking guide and is active in protecting wildlands in her home state of Montana.
In the following excerpt from Nature’s Operating Instructions (Sierra Club Books, 2004), Benyus writes about why humans should learn from nature rather than merely about it—taking cues from complex systems that have developed over millions of years and applying these lessons to manmade systems.
Watch a video of Janine Benyus’ 2016 Bioneers keynote at the bottom of this article.
An exploration of a new paradigm of health, science, and medicine, based on the interconnections between us and nature.
At a genetic level, humans are literally connected to the rest of the natural world through our DNA. But today’s highly processed foods, pesticide based mono-culture farming methods, increasing urbanization, obsession with technology and destruction of the natural environment distance us further and further from the world we co-evolved with. We are out of balance with nature and the reductionist philosophy of modern western medicine, once immensely powerful, seems inadequate to answer today’s challenges.
India is probably the only place where the principles of biodynamic farming, which began in Germany over 90 years ago, and has its share of adherents and skeptics worldwide, are culturally accepted without questioning.
When 29-year-old Nasari Chavhan took to the stage at the Organic World Congress (OWC) – an international conference dedicated to organic farming – held on the outskirts of Delhi in the second week of November, it was little expected that the diffident young woman and an Adivasi (tribal) from the interiors of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, would end up as one of the prized speakers at the event.
What has Paul discovered? The mycologist has figured out how to use mother nature’s own creations to keep insects from destroying crops.
It’s what is being called SMART pesticides. These pesticides provide safe & nearly permanent solution for controlling over 200,000 species of insects – and all thanks to the ‘magic’ of mushrooms.
Paul does this by taking entomopathogenic Fungi (fungi that destroys insects) and morphs it so it does not produce spores. In turn, this actually attracts the insects who then eat and turn into fungi from the inside out.