I have this blog http://balancefeeling.wordpress.com/ and I write in a language that is not mine! I would love to CO-WRITE!
My 1st goal is english spanish french... the last one being my mother tongue.
My first goal now in writing is to make people feel the organic intelligence we have inside us, and that is not the brain but all in the body, heart and guts. I use images and very short textes.
I dont know how it happens there is such a big shut-up about the main system of the body regulating all other systems that work inside us... You can find there all the good reasons we have to be into permaculture, about how humans arrived where they are, what stucks us, and what can free us, because it works all the time in us, and we are not enough conscious of it.
Then this can also touch all topics about animal and plant behaviours! Species have their own intelligence and ways, and if you treat a cow like a cat, you are going to find out soon.... and this is not about genetics primarily either, it is about intelligence, but not the cortex one. it is ORGANIC.
oh yes, I had also started some plant descriptions, and they are around "behaviours, likings and dislikings". It is crazy until now to find writings all about "how to and uses"! I try to give back a real sense of life being alive!
I would... I would like to find writers in several languages, to have a multilanguage sharing about all that is around living more naturally.
I have this blog http://balancefeeling.wordpress.com/ and I write in a language that is not mine! I would love to CO-WRITE!
My 1st goal is english spanish french... the last one being my mother tongue.
Part 3 could be about the ANS.... (Autonomic Nervous System), as it needs to be well regulated so that we can fully be in rest & digest mode. And it is not only about forcing rest with some exercises, however gentle they can be... It is all about what our body does physiologically, and autonomic does not mean stupid, as this is actually the inner organic intelligence of the body!
The ANS is the chief of our orchestra, and all other systems, such as the digestive one or the cardio-vacular one, depend on its health! And doctors don't know about it. I know, because some of them were in my training in Somatic Experiencing...
I "smiled" at reading about some plants bringing toxins, because who read Matt Walker thread about healing through carnivore diet? I have been eating like this since march, and in transition since last october, and I am very happy with the results I have. I have had some pain from gall bladder, mainly because I had been relying too much on coconut oil, and this oil does not help, because bilis is not required to digest it. We need fats and to use our bilis. Low fat diet, less bilis and more toxins, because bilis is meant to remove toxins.
And the first step of all digestive health path is to check ones levels of stomach acid. After 40 we all have it too low, and then the rest of the digestive chain cannot work properly. Get this right, and get right the vagus nerve to not have a slow emptying of stomach, and then you can start to heal the rest, because it will regulate by itself. It is meant to, thanks to the ANS. Of course there is a loop, because any health issue is taxing the ANS, because it drives a defensive response.
Inn the end it is like pulling a stuck drawer: a little one one side, a little on the other side... and it unstucks itself step by step.
Jason Hernandez wrote:I believe it is quite likely that wild Rhizobium are already present in the area, but of course I lack the equipment to verify this.
A digging stick and your eyes are all the equipment that you need. Plant the pigeon peas. Dig them up, and look at the roots. Do they have nitrogen fixing nodules? If yes, then there are suitable species of bacteria already present in your local ecosystem.
It is not so easy... how long does it take to them to appear? I think it cannot be seen yet in a young plant, and was wondering how long it takes?
Even on our local wild legume called tedera and eaten by goats but not by humans, and so common, I cannot really see those profuse nodules as in internet photos! White acarians on roots, much more!
Catrina Liesch wrote:Hi Xisca,
we are also looking for inoculants for our pigeon peas and other legumes in La Palma. If we find any useful information we will let you know. Your project sounds really interesting. We are only just starting.
Catrina and Jane
Great, let's take contact! Amazing, people in La Palma!
I find it just ...incredible, to say it and stay cool, that taxes have to lead to business and that it is not possible to keep land alone and quiet!
Taxes should be proportionate to the income derived from it.
You say that you have no moral problem in paying, but when regarding the fact that you have to cut a piece of forest and convert the land, I feel sad.
In the dryland website, i pointed to a pic that showed "flat swales" and you can locate this where it does not bother.
Children need to learn things about nature, and even to look and be careful, so if you locate your nopal not too near the house and get some mesh.... be careful also that animals love eating them! They are wonderful food, both nopal and fruits, and good source of compost.
Use mesh on the ground for unabling the dog to dig! All around the trees...
Should't the price be compared to the amount of work and necessary surface? If you have a large farm, you can plant what needs little job and easy crop even if it does not sell expensive. If you have a small surface, you need to produce what will surely need more work but with high rentability per square meter. And adding value by transofrming is also much more worth it. You would sell fruits or marmelade from your fruits, accordingly.
Tomas Remiarz wrote:We moved to our place about six years ago and were lucky enough to have a fully established orchard on the land. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about converting it into a forest garden. I’ve always been intrigued by Dave Jacke’s proposal of “aikido-ing existing succession” (described in Edible Forest Gardens Vol 1, page 287) so I thought I’d give it a go here. The strategy fitted my requirements as (at least theoretically) it requires minimal input of time and money. I have decided to put the method to the test and am having a lot of fun with it.
Has anyone else experimented with this kind of slow and steady approach? Are there any particular techniques you can recommend, and plants that you have successfully encouraged on your site?
Without having at least some elements about this strategy, it is very difficult to give any answer. So, in a nut-shell, what is aikido style?
My strategy is only to see where I can grow protection from the wind, but most wind comes from ...above, so it is not totally feasible. So I grow trees in the most narrow part of the valley.
Then I try to see where I want shade and sun, so that I have room for herbaceaes. Then I grow all that is possible in winter so that I can get organic matter when it rains.
With an orchard, mine was oranges and avocados and i had to cut too, then I find that it is just about cleaning where you have room after getting the paths for fruit harvest, and plant!
And if trees are all the same age and quite old, I would cut part of them and plant young trees, so that they do not have to all be replaced at the same time.
I think therre is an email at the end of the survey and you can also answer the questions even if you answer "no" at the first page. Maybe you have not seen the other types of question, about what public you are from....
His concept of food forest was not clear, and it seemed to be about havng visited a formal forest garden with a name,, and not any place where you garden and have trees...
He want to know what kind of person visit those gardens, and what is it associated with. I found a few questions bothering and not right, like about "rights" of animals, when right are a human subjective concept. So I agreed and did not at the same time. Also he asks if we take supermarket bags. I do, and I use them right! Many questions about us and nature are what experience people at autonomic nervous system level and not much opinions as they seem in the questions.
You have a nice ground experience!
I laughed that I have even forgotten about snakes... as we have none here! We are so much the main predator!
I would have to be very careful about getting moldy stuff, as we really get imported plagues through neglecting we ar an island. But some people already have water plants, so I will look at what i can get from neighbours who have Kois. This is a pity to let my bucket project stand by! I can also get frogs.
And I already have the equisetum hiemale! We have it wild here in the center of the island, the only place with some permanent water. I got some from neighbours.
Thanks for all the ideas! Very useful!
I have not much to add, as I hope to be inspired by your thread! Those trees are not what I have most, and are also the ones with less other plants around! So I have no idea of the effect of interactions but you made me think I must plant more near them.... The wild garlic was already there and I should try to get more. About aromatics, artemisia are great too!
Natasha, we might have a quite similar climate, maybe yours is hotter, as we are very oceanic here. You also seem to have more grass so more rain then me...
Maybe "sunken bed" would be better, in reference to raised bed? Because I am a lot about words, and hugel means something like "mount" in German! So even if we mean we tranformed the hugel kultur concept, at the level of having wood under some soil..... no hump no hugel!!!
Natasha Abrahams wrote:Xisca, I love the idea of letting the plants do the work for you! I have an entirely accidental planting of sweetthorn (acacia), fennel and spinach, all of which selfseeds, so I shall watch it curiously to see how the combination goes. The discussion lets me think I should throw some cereal there, maybe sorghum?
I don't mind the work for a sunken hugel, though, labour here is cheap (probably not a good thing) and with unemployment high one tries to create as many jobs as possible. Once the dam was dug I refused any more machinery on my heavy clay, and had all the remaining work done by hand. So the overflow dam was dug one summer when there was not quite enough work for the two men I then employed. It is about two meters wide and twenty meters long. Well, I stopped working full time and the climate dried up, we started throwing garden refuse, tree prunings and what-have-you into that big hole. Seven years later it is still called the tree graveyard. The place will make a fine field one day if I can just get time to top it with horse manure. The nasturtium is naturalizing and the sweet thorn can't wait to throw its seeds there. Your post makes me think there is nothing to lose by maybe just letting it be while the plants create more biomass :)
I dont have clay but artificial terrasses with stones under, thus also air! I loose water etc. I need the machine to remove big stones, very big. And replace with organic matter. I cannot compost branches, they just dry! I want to burry.
We have to work before we can let the plants do the job... It is not just let be, but when it is started, yes you just wait for the biomass to be created. I think we have to plant plant plant, and not be afraid of death. But I would not spoil bought plants, because all investment of man's work and of transport, plastic pot etc, is about spoiling the earth resources.
Ben Waimata wrote:Xisca, can you tell us more about the legume that climbs trees? Is it something unusual?
It is the reverse, the tree legume is the support for the climbing plants! Very good idea also for passionfruits.
I do this for all climbers: air potato, basella, cucurbs like bitter melon and achoa or cucumbers....
I prefer a wall or rock for vine and chayota, as they are too big for the poor support! Passion fruit needs a big tree so I also put a piece of fencing for them. I had one in a mango, and the mango could hardly produce! (this year with no passion vine, it seems to be the most charged in fruits!)
Martijn Macaopino wrote:I guess I'll just go with vetiver indeed.
I have made a whole thread about my experiment, try to find it! It was not easy to be efficient at the transplant etc at the beginning... Also let it grow enough before cutting for fresh fodder. Plant it very close to another too. We are not tropical, so it will be not nice all winters... If you want some windbreak, let it grow enough to stand dry in winter, it will also be a cold protection. and believe me for this, my minimum is +8ºc! Already cold for vetiver!
Frogs might have to travel from too far, but I know where to get some... I would have been worried about frogs eating also dragonflies larvaes! I keep the idea of the bucket for dragonflies, and I will see if I can find water chesnut!
...Are there other waterplants that will do the trick?
Dan Boone wrote:
Xisca Nicolas wrote:Of course the food we grow is a magnet, and will develop more rats than predators can suppress! Even night howls will not be enough, or can you tell your idea with more precision ? Which predator can come? YOU, WE, have to be the predators!
Of course I don't know your local circumstances. Everywhere I've ever lived, squirrels got eaten by all kinds of things. But rats can be a different story, especially on islands. You would know best.
I do not ask only for myself, I am curious about others' circumstantces too! I guess you have foxes and ferret type of wildlife? We have none of those, and we are almost the only predator of the rats. I can tell that the night or day predator birds we have are absolutely not enough and that I am still waiting for owls to come to my place.
Mainly, I want to say that we are part of nature... So why wait for predators when they are here already.... Us!
Trap rats and even squirrel in excess, take care of the balance. Eat and feed your hens or dog or cat, and life circle is ok.
Wes Cooke wrote:My concern is that then this little corner of the forest is going to become a magnet for all wildlife.
Not to be flip but ... you say that like it's a bad thing?
A whole bunch of squirrels or rats could be bad but then ... surely something would come along that eats them? Basically I am convinced that the more complete the ecosystem in/around my garden and food forest, the healthier it is.
Of course the food we grow is a magnet, and will develop more rats than predators can suppress! Even night howls will not be enough, or can you tell your idea with more precision ? Which predator can come? YOU, WE, have to be the predators!
In France they say "let's call a cat a cat"! This definition of a forest garden sounds a bit as a deception to me, and as if people are dreaming romantically, but if it helps them... For me "forest garden" has a special meaning, and has some important differences with a "garden". A forest is a place with trees that occur in a variety and concentration depending on the place. A garden is cultivated for our food.
A forest garden has for me these caracteristics:
- It hosts trees.
- Not all plants are food, we do not eliminate all that does not give us food. Or else call this orchard.
- It hosts local plants that occur, mixed with imported plants and what we grow as food or other. It can be all planted and this criteria is less a caracteristic of a forest per se.
It is a mix of a garden and a forest, or else as I said, it is a term used because it is nice, explaining all the personal definitions you got.
A garden with veggies and fruit trees in an orchard with a veggy garden! There is no shame in it, and it acknowldeges that we leave little room for the original flora. How can we call something by a name of there is no common definition to know what we are talking about?
I live in a place where what they call spinach is not spinach, what they call neem is not neem, and the guama Ii bought does not seem the edulis type of inga! And now we also have sunken hugel, when a hugel is a mount! That's what there is and in a way funny, but it will not make it easier to communicate....
This photo is easier to comment when seeing it above… It makes me notice that the hour was perfect to show that it is shady in the afternoon. The avocaods and mangos are more down into the sun. All the dry place has been cut for 2 reasons: harvest of organic matter for compost + removing dry stuff in case of fire.
Trees: first on the left is the inga, and the eucalyptus behind. In the center are pigeon peas and 2 guavas. Then there is madroño, strawberry tree. The chayas and others are harldy visible.
The first plane, dry, is about 2 meters above, there is a wall. There on the right you can see the tea-tree. On the total right are orange trees and then avocados behind.
I am still looking for better and new plants, but this thread made me realize I did more job than what I thought! And indeed I can start to call this a forest!
About trees, I have been so pleased with the growth of this lemon eucalyptus i did from a tiny tiny seed! I am just amazed... I just cannot prune such a tree, and it is maybe 6 or 7 years! It is light yellow-green on the right , just behind a sort of papaya of very small fruit, easy to do from seed. It needs a lot of water but grows quick and has this sort of not real trunk/not real wood like papaya.
On the left: 2 legumes. First you see the pigeon pea. The tree behind is a store bought guama, aka inga edulis but I think they sold another inga because the inside of the pod was not sweet. (They also sold me the so called neem and I think they sold a common local similar but not the real neem...)
In the general view taken from near the loquat, you can see the guama and eucalyptus on the left, all the rest I have put the previous pics.
cucurbita foetidissima... the Texas watermelon... I think it is very good for fixing carbon! But invasive and in some places I think it is going to bother me... well, the planting!
Grows quick when settled which can take more than a year. big root, so burries matter. but does it die!?!?!?!!! Dormant in winter.
Also, it is less food than planned, as you need to extract the starch, and the root isn't edible. the seeds are, but they do not tell you they are small.
Super great cover anyway... And you can see it hanging from the wall into the way. The stems also do root!
I still cannot plant this terrasse more than on the border, as I need the machine to repair walls using the stones that have fallen down! I mean big unmovable rocks...
Here is a legume I sew from a gift, I duno what it is, just that it has no spines, you can eat the young srouts and also the inside of the pod is like liquorice.
Then rosmary, pigeon pea that does not manage well here, and a big local artemisia that gives a lot of dry matter! I can prune ir all the time...
Then, the same line taken from the other side... Pomegranate, rosemary, artichoke.
This place is a mount of stone that was thrown from digging the water tank in rock 70 years ago! It is naturally green only in winter. Almost no soil.
I could plants a japanese nispero on top, and it has been giving some fruits for 2 years.
Then there is a neem that grew well and already tall.
Still small, 2 local wild pistachio and 3 carrob.
I could manage vetiver under the trees, as it is very steep.
It is watered. Here I think I did quite a good job in planting very soon. For sure I was never going to move anything there and it was going to take time to grow.
Behind the loquat and neem, you can see some wild cherries that grow on the other side of the valley.
Yes I have animals and dont want poisonous plants...
Corn needs more water than sorgum I think, thus my choice of sorgum, that is also more pest free. I might go to corn again when I have hens.
Nathanael Szobody wrote:
Xisca Nicolas wrote:
And I was wondering if some trees are producing more roots than others....
Why yes: cassava. Same logic as sweet potatoes, only MORE drought resistant and roots just as easily. I put it everywhere.
But really, why trees? Perennial grasses produce FOUR TIMES the root volume than trees for their above-ground mass. Just sayin'.
I have always read that cassava is drough tolerant, but then why it does not grow that well here? Maybe it is too cold for them... the roots are not at all worth eating as they come out fibrous. Here they look dead until may, then it is warm enough.... until the end of the year. So they grow 6 months and dont thrive! Then grow hardly to 1 meter...
What perenial grass? I have wild oats in winter as I mentionned and then sorgum in summer. I also have vetiver. I also know a perenial grass, but the rhizome is very deep, and when you have it, it is forever, and it spreads....
So what you are saying is that for the same mass above ground, which would be a small tree, I get 4 times more organic matter underground. So only when a tree is 4 times bigger than grass it produces more roots unerground... Not easy to compare when you see the size of grass and of a trunk!
So it makes me think about another plant with very long roots! Vine...
And I also have another root, the Texas gourd. And chayota.
Apart from what Marco Banks said, this is a short quote that is useful. Why don't you follow the advise given by somebody who has that much experience? Also as said by Redhawk, prepare the soil and check the level of organic matter, as the 7% he says is very high and not easy to get...
David Good wrote:The mistake I made with my first big food forest project was to think fruit trees would do okay without a lot of input or soil improvement ahead of time.
Water is definitely the main thing you need and it's good you have it. Before I went nuts with fruit tree, I would first concentrate on planting a lot of nitrogen-fixers and chop-and-drop species to build up the land and increase the biomass on it. I wish I'd done that the first time around. After dropping loads of tree company mulch and planting lots of support species, most of my fruit trees pulled through and began to thrive - but for two years they basically sat. And I lived on site and did water and mulch them a bit. Just not enough.
Most fruit trees are highly bred over thousands of years to be food producers for man. They're not scrappy pioneer species that can be left to themselves.
So I was not surprised by what you said about the results... I live on my land, and I would not plant now, can you be there at a better moment for planting than now? Do it at christmas if you cannot come in november!
Also, if you take time to prepare the land and up the organic matter, as organic matter is what will suck the humidity and your orchard will keep going much better without watering that often! You need to do more than dig a hole, you need to prepare the whole place that will be occupied by the ball of roots ina few years. You need to dig dip so that you have a loosen soil. then enrich in organic matter. Then you can plant trees now without waiting.
Dina, look at this page https://drylands.org.au/learn-drylands/ the thirdy photo of the serie shows stones and swales, just eh idea i gave, but I dont know if you have a stony underground...
But the 5th photo is a flat place like yours, and the design is obviously machine made...
And you can also see that they have to protect their plants with some fencing, be it against dogs or herbivores it is not possible to let plants alone when you plant only a few of them.
I do not find the pics of the planting they had before, but see the seed they sell from marula: https://drylands.org.au/product-category/seeds/trees/ the tree you see is from the patch they planted, and that looked like yours, but they prepared the soil with big holes with machines...
Sarah Koster wrote:Looks pretty flat.... would building swales help with breaking wind/retaining water?
As you are I think the third to say it, Dina might look into it! Dina, you said you had no machines, but this type of work is done once by hiring the machine with the driver, and they do what you want. I have no idea if it is good to brake the pan like this in your case, but you can look at it...
Then you mentionned your dog un-gardening your stuff... and that is ok to fence trees and bushes, it is a pity to loose work from the dog.
As you have animals, and see more than donkeys, I would at your place concentrate on having animals, because you can bring some food until it grows, and you will have more compost. Have you analysed the content of your soil and things such as the organic matter? This does not cost much. Many places have only 1,5%, and i was not happy to have 2,5% when I started, and it is possible to go up a lot, but it needs a lot of organic matter if you compare to the volume of soil you have!
If you get a machine, then you can also dig big holes for a few trees you have enough water for. That is where your design must be good.... As it has to be definitive. Prepare the soil, make holes (i have seen this in a permaculture farm in Australia, it worked well with 2 meters deep) get some legumes in there, better the soil with compost and tea, and then it will be ready to plant. Concentrate on what is needed, be it a hedge or shadow for you and animals.... I would not focus on fruit trees, as they are not really the strong trees you want.... or it depends what fruit you want and what grows around, and I have no idea where you are located !
Even here, some people planted avocados, and they died after less than 10 years, because they had not prepared the soil deep enough. You need to know what you have 1 meter deep at least.
Tomas Remiarz wrote:how a forest garden is supposed to work, but they say very little about how people actually fit it into their busy lives with jobs, family, neighbours and so on...
What did you conclude?
And... what is different between a garden and a forest garden? After all, people also have to fit into their garden-that-is-not-a-forest!
Did you come out with a conclusion about this?
I have the idea that people who want a forest garden can be more romantic and put nature or what survives after them before feeding themselves.
Or they are fructivores?
I also think that I like forest gardens because I want animals before veggies. And a mere field is not as diverse as when it has grown-up trees.
For me also, a forest garden means I want room for animals, so I see that if I want to cultivate just for me, I will have to fight all critters who want to eat too! And if we live on veggies and good fruits, well, we actually grow the most tender stuff, and they are good for other animals... After all, have a look at a cabage after the hen has eaten it.... she leaves the tough fiber and has eaten the most tender parts!
If I grow and eat the animals, then I do not have to fight and prtect, I just eat the eaters.... just the surplus, and also I can leave more weeds and local grasses and plants. Usually they are ones that we cannot eat, and animals can.