The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Leaf-Cutter Ants Teach Us About Farming?

January 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

About twelve thousand years ago, humans hit on a bright idea. Why not grow food in our backyards instead of having to go look for it every time our tummies grumble? It was a masterful stroke of conscious evolution, but hardly a new one. Leaf-cutter ants tapped into sustainable agriculture some 50 million years before us. These busy little beasts spend their days harvesting leaves and trucking them, one-by-one, down, in the ground, to get out, of the rain. Boom boom. But instead of eating the leaves, leaf-cutters masticate them into a thick fluffy paste, spit it into their special growrooms, and fertilize it with their own feces. Before long, the domesticated fungus they adore sprouts forth. These hard-working farmers even evolved fungicides to keep marauding non-edible mushrooms out. Humans farms are pretty fantastic too. Somehow, we manage to feed the vast bloom of global humanity (more or less). But our agricultural techniques require endless inputs: water from far away, petroleum-intensive fertilizers and pesticides that accumulate in our water, soil, and bodies. Meanwhile, the endless rows of identical corn and wheat are dangerously vulnerable to climate change , and glaringly obvious to insects that want to eat them. What can we learn from nature about sustainable farming ? Find out in today’s entry of   The Biomimicry Manual ! Read the rest of The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Leaf-Cutter Ants Teach Us About Farming? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable agriculture” , biomimicry , green fertilizer , leaf-cutter ants , pesticide resistance , pesticides , prairie , the land institute , Urban Farming , vertical farming        

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Leaf-Cutter Ants Teach Us About Farming?

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