Plant cultivate or Agriculture is the intentional growing of plants for human use.
Civilizations based on agriculture then developed around 3000 B.C., and ever since most human populations have been dependent on agriculture by some 2,000 years ago. .
The cultivation of plants for food, often called gardening or farming, is the most efficient way to produce your own food for the purpose of achieving a self-sufficient lifestyle. There are many different types of plants you can grow for food, each will have its own advantages and disadvantages.
Various amounts of care are involved, from little more than scattering seeds and later checking for a harvest, to permaculture homesteads to large scale industrial agriculture where thousands of acres are devoted to growing one crop (monocrops), using carefully bred and selected seeds (often genetically modified organisms), highly processed man-made chemical fertilizers, and a variety of insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides.
The plants themselves have been selectively bred (hybrid seeds) since the early days of agriculture for many characteristics, including fruit size and yield, disease and pest resistance, drought or wetness tolerance - in fact, any trait that could be imagined to be useful.
While it is immediately obvious that the first purpose for growing domesticated plants is to provide a stable food supply, we also grow plants for fibers to make clothing, to press for oil, or to make into paper. Plants are also grown for real or perceived medicinal properties, like Valerian root or St. John's wort.
Types of Food from Plants
Beans are one of the best crops for sustainable living as they are hardy, have high production, provide near-complete nutrition, and store well for long periods.
Fruit is an excellent part of any cultivation plan. Fruit provides many vitamins and minerals and has high caloric value due to its high sugar content.
Grains & Cereals
Herbs, while not generally nutritionally significant, help to combat diet fatigue as well as perform other tasks such as pest control. Herbs are typically the leaves or greener parts of the plant, while a seed, bark or stem is traditionally considered a spice. Fresh herbs are wonderful additions to cooked dishes, they have bold flavor and can compliment the flavor profiles of vegetables, fruits and meats. Dried herbs are best used with water or fats as they can help to infuse their flavors into the liquids. Many people use herbs for their medicinal benefits as well. Some common medicinal uses are for cough suppression, fever reducers or digestive aids.
Nuts are one of the best sources of plant protein and they all store very well.
Plant Oils are extremely useful. They can be consumed, used for easing cooking, lubrication, they are combustible, and server many other purposes.
Some plants have useful seeds which serve various nutritional and other purposes beyond propagation.
Vegetables will provide many different nutritional elements, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vegetables will typically comprise the bulk of the plants in a traditional annual garden. Vegetables come in a wide variety of colors, textures, and flavors which allows even the pickiest of eaters to typically find at least a few varieties to savor and grow year after year.
Edible Leaves - Often overlooked is the edibility of the leaves of some trees, shrubs, and vines.
Caring for Plants
Plants' needs are simple and generally consist of nothing more than water, sun light, and sometimes pest control. Depending on what species a plant is its need of these will vary greatly.
- Gaia's Garden
- By Joel Salatin
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