(La Pieveccia winery and vineyard)
Our visit to La Pievuccia winery and vineyard, just outside of Castiglion Fiorentino, allowed me to understand some of the new cultivation methods that farmers and horticulturalists are trying. One method I found fascinating that we discussed is permaculture. It originated, fairly recently, in Australia in the 1970s. It is a type of gardening that can be done on any size or scale and in any environment. A major goal in permaculture is to integrate with the local ecology and to grow diverse plant types together. This specific method of agriculture also provides a source for more sustainable food production. As permaculture expands, it is beginning to include economic and social systems as well.
I truly believe permaculture is fantastic. I think the idea of growing a variety of plants near each other is great because the diversity can attract pollinators, keep away pests, and provide a habitat for numerous insects and animals. One of the ideas behind permaculture is not to change the environment to grow the crops, but to work with it. I think permaculture can be similar to companion gardening because a person can plant varieties that benefit from each other when grown close together.