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Cyclic, integral agriculture
In theory, cyclic integral agriculture will save a great amount of money, although it also would be labor intensive. The idea is to utilize all wastes, regardless of what they are. If something is being thrown out and not utilized, your system design is defective. If a raw material is being brought in from outside the operation, in significant amounts, your system design is defective.
The concept is to imitate in miniature, Nature's own cycles. You must do your best to make every waste into a prized resource.
This sort of system should probably operate around large biodigesters, a hog operation and a water purification marsh. If, in one small part, it is cheaper to throw a certain waste away and buy the replacement for its output, don't do it. Consider the cost and the value of the outputs of the entire cycle only. In any case, the economic advantage of breaking the cycle at one small point will most probably disappear as the price of petroleum goes up.
Ideally, the inputs are land, sunlight, CO2, labor and water - nothing more. The outputs are mainly food and energy, the later mostly in the form of fuel.
If all in the community are vegetarian or vegan, this closed cycle becomes more difficult because the animals which concentrate the fixed nitrogen are not present. Although black water from humans will help a little, supplying the biodigesters their needs of fixed nitrogen becomes a problem. One may end up growing certain green manure crops just to feed the biodigesters and biodigesters should be fed only surplus materials (i.e. wastes).
Roy 20:11, 8 May 2006 (PDT)
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