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Polyculture is agriculture using multiple crops in the same space, in imitation of the diversity of natural ecosystems, and avoiding large stands of single crops, or monoculture . It includes multi-cropping , intercropping , companion planting , beneficial weeds , and alley cropping . Polyculture, though it often requires more labor, has several advantages over monoculture:
Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems , incorporating fruit and nut trees , shrubs , herbs , vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting , these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat.
Permaculture is a branch of ecological design , ecological engineering , and environmental design which develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained horticultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems . [ 1 ] [ 2 ]