There is a fundamental concept in permaculture: to examine and follow nature’s patterns. In reverse, that also means to eschew agricultural practices that go against the natural design of food growth and production. Monoculture is a perfect example of this – it strips the land, depletes resources and over time leaves arid waste behind. On a smaller scale, in your own backyard, you wouldn’t want to plant your entire garden with one species of vegetable, or pack a bunch of chickens into a yard with no grass. Plants and livestock take and receive from the soil in a multitude of ways, and permaculture design seeks to optimize the placement and variety of your food systems to maintain the soil over time and reduce the amount of water input, as well as create small, closed-loop systems where symbiotic relationships continually fertilize and nourish the soil.