Catalog of systems and techniques to grow food

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Food growing systems combine techniques for all aspects of the food growing into a complete package. The system can be very precisely defined or it can define a number of general principles/approaches. Food growing techniques focus on a single best way to do some task, for example, the best way to grow seedlings or to start a compost.



Soil preparation

  • No-till farming (Edward Faulkner, 1940s) / conservation tillage / strip-till / ...
  • Digging
  • Hügelkultur
  • Layered "lasagne" soil
  • Sheet mulching
  • AgroParisTech's "M3" soil

Compost and soil fertility

  • Composting
  • Green manure
  • Cover crops
  • Livestock manure
  • Growing crops for compost

Preventing soil erosion

  • Mulching
  • Cover crops

Seeds and seedlings

  • Open-pollinated seeds / heirloom seeds
  • Soil blocks


  • Crop rotation
  • Crop diversity, polyculture, crop intermixing
  • Accompany planting / mutually supporting species
  • Agroforestry
  • Perennial plants
  • Vertical layering of crops


  • Cover crops

Pest control

  • Maintaining part of field as wild preserve
  • Crop diversity, polyculture, crop intermixing
  • Biodiversity

Water: irrigation, capture and storage