Most of the edible plants in the rainforest were planted by humans over 4500 years ago, new study finds. Modern farmers should look to these ancient forest gardeners for the key to sustainable food production.
Ancient humans were practicing a form of agriculture known as horticulture or permaculture in the Amazonian rainforest 4500 years ago, which researchers have concluded is responsible for the overwhelming abundance of edible plants we now find there
They say the long-term success of the “forest-gardening” method of food production serves as a model of sustainability for modern farmers.
The study is the first detailed history of long-term human land use in the region conducted by archaeologists, paleoecologists, botanists and ecologists from the University of Exeter in England.
It shows that humans had a more profound effect on the supposedly “untouched” rainforest than previously thought, introducing crops to new areas, boosting the number of edible tree species and using fire to improve the nutrient content of soil,
The researchers found evidence of maize, sweet potato, manioc and squash farming as early as 4,500 years ago in Eastern Brazil.
The legacy of 4,500 years of polyculture agroforestry in the eastern Amazon https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0205-y?WT.feed_name=subjects_evolution The Amazon is a Man-Made Food Forest, Researchers Discover https://returntonow.net/...ver/?fbclid=IwAR2AjXyrQHiJrkgoZLI_tZlQZxHVTpBOUqDxGq7H5nYFBeb5Pmb_dCENf1A