The process of planting more than one crop in a field in order to increase production, income generation, and resilience.
Diversification in the Forest Garden
Diversification is a foundation of the Forest Garden Approach in which farmers plant a diverse mix of fruit, nut, and timber trees alongside vegetables, grain, and legume crops. Monoculture is the practice of growing just one crop on a given piece of land. Over the last century, the global food system has become increasingly mechanized. Industrialized agriculture has led to more monoculture and less crop diversity on farms around the world.
However, this production style is detrimental to the health of the land and to to food and income security of a smallholder farmer. A monoculture crop offers one harvest per year. If the crop fails, the farmer’s opportunity to earn a living disappears. Diversification in the Forest Garden provides many potential products for a farming family to eat and sell, increasing nutrition, income, and overall resilience.