Alternatives

The alternatives either have a main focus on sustainability, not on regeneration, or can not be applied in Bretagne.

Crop rotation - a sequence of growing crops where two or more dissimilar type of crops follow each other for breaking pest and disease cycles and accounting for crop needs and supply regarding soil nutrients and soil structure over the sequence - examples include cereals and legumes, deep-rooted and short-rooted plants and where the next crop can make use of the manuring or irrigation provided some months earlier to the previous crop.

Multiple cropping is the simultaneous cultivation of two or more crops. It can take the form of double-cropping, in which a second crop is planted after the first has been harvested, or relay cropping, in which the second crop is started amidst the first crop before it has been harvested. In Indian agricultural tradition, farmers have been known to sow as many as 15 types of crops at one time. An often used example of multi-cropping is Tomatoes + Onions + Marigold. A related practice, companion planting, is sometimes used in gardening and intensive cultivation of vegetables and fruits.

Multi story cropping

In multi story cropping plantings consist of an over story of trees or shrubs with an under story of agronomic crops or forage. Tree-to-tree distance is wide enough to let sufficient light through to under story crops or forage. “Agroforestry” is a form of multi story cropping. Tree canopies of native forests can be managed to allow the production of such crops or forage.

Intercropping is the cultivation of another crop in the spaces available between the main crop. Examples of intercropping strategies are planting a deep-rooted crop with a shallow-rooted crop, or planting a tall crop with a shorter crop that requires partial shade. An example is coconut + banana + pineapple/ginger/leguminous fodder/medicinal or aromatic plants. While ensuring biodiversity within a farm, intercropping also allows for maximum use of resources. It is particularly important not to have crops competing with each other for physical space, nutrients, water, or sunlight.

Inga alley cropping, planting agricultural crops between rows of Inga trees, has been proposed as an alternative to the ecological destruction of slash-and-burn farming in Central and South America. Inga grows well on the acid soils of the tropical rainforest and former rainforest. They fix nitrogen into a form usable by plants and mycorrhiza growing within the roots (arbuscular mycorrhiza) takes up spare phosphorus, allowing it to be recycled into the soil 1) 2).