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Use Edges And Value The Marginal

EDGE EFFECT: In nature the ‘edge effect’ is when two different ecosystems meet and a new third ecosystem is created. The new ecosystem combines the other two ecosystems and is more complex and more productive.

This could be: • The edge between the land and the sea • The outer edge of a forest • The edge of a river (river bank) The edge is the most productive part of the environment because it contains more diverse plants animals, and insects, more fertility and sunlight. This idea can be copied and used in sustainable agriculture and animal systems, and even with houses. For example: • The edge of a clay fish pond is very productive, both in and out of the water. • Make terraces or swales on sloped land to create many edges and improve production. • The soil on the outside edge of an animal house is full of nutrients from the manure and is excellent for growing vegetables or fruit trees.

The most important ‘edge’ on the planet is our soil. It is the edge between the rocks below and sky above, and in many places it is only a few centimetres thick. Without it we cannot grow the food we need to live, and no plants or natural ecosystems could survive! We need to protect it and increase it with organic, long-term techniques

Edges also refer to things which are considered less important and not in the middle. These things are still vital to sustainable agriculture and cultures. For example: the plants around the edge of the garden might not produce food for you, but they provide mulch and other organic materials, homes for small animals and pest predators, and wind reduction.

More edges mean more production and diversity. This is working with not against natural systems.


It’s a wonderful open-source practical permaculture reference guide book with 2000 beautiful illustrations and comprehensive language which enables even a beginner to understand the permaculture design, food sovereignty, and environmental regeneration strategies and techniques. The vision of this project is to make knowledge comprehensible and accessible for everyone to accelerate sustainable practices in every corner of the world. It is especially useful when working with poor, low literacy, and disadvantaged communities and schools.

This edition was developed from the Permaculture Guidebook from Timor-Leste produced in 2008 and published by Permatil (Permaculture Timor Leste-NGO). It is used by farmers, families, community groups, government departments, schools, universities, agricultural colleges, and NGOs in Timor Leste, and re-used and translated in more than 10 countries.

Please find the link below to download this book and learn more about their work on their website.

Use Edges and Value the Marginal: About
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