|PRIMARY PRACTICE OF NATURAL FERTILIZATION
Definition characters description and diffusion
In the Neolithic age, man developed certain practices because of three essential conditions: a) the availability of fruitful seeds and domestic animals; b) fertile soils; c) water. The organization of productive and sedentary life depended on the existence of these conditions. The need for fertile soils fostered the acquisition of practical know-how for applying manure, humus formation and soil structure, soil protection and maintenancee: on these principles depended the organization of space. Drainage systems, canals and irrigation and reclamation methods allow plains to be used for agriculture. The use of manure as a fertilizer and fallowing make agriculture more productive. Natural fertilizers integrate breeding and husbandry and supply soils with the necessary organic material.
General characters description and diffusion
The so-called entrenched villages in the Apulia district of Daunia and on the plateau of the Murgia, in Basilicata, settled from the 7th to the 4th millennium, was not used for defensive purposes but in the Neolithic Age their function was more likely to have been connected with breeding and farming practices. The digging of ditches developed around cave-dwellers' habits that were widespread and continued in these areas until the modern era. In the south of Italy, the climate ranged from freezing winters to scorching summers. Water shortage fostered practices for meteoric water collection and underground storage. On the Ethiopian highlands, on the slopes of the Rift Valley's ridges, in the sunny lowland valleys, there are thousands of villages, where unchanging pratices and knowledge are handed down. These structures are still used. During the rainy season, the ditches serve as drainage systems that keep the soil dry, thus protecting huts and orchards. Once harvested, water is stored in the lower part of the ditches to be used during drought periods. Being free from water, the upstream sections of the ditches can be used to count cattle and sheep, to milk or shear them, sometimes to shelter and hide them. Waste from the village, animal carases and manure end up in these trenches as well. In this way, when irrigated, the fields are also fertilized.
Advantages and sustainability
Natural fertilization is not only sustainable but is beneficial because the material used to fertilize is organic and allows for better soils.