Good approach in using vetiver, it is an excellent water runoff holder if planted on contour and pretty effective in controlling erosion on steep hills. The roots can be processed for use in perfume and essential oils and the leaves dried and weaved for baskets. A couple of suggestions,please remember that cassava takes about 9 months to harvest, for quick food production, plant sweet potatoes, in 3 to 4 months they are ready for harvesting. The leaves are edible, make great fodder and once you harvest, re-plant the slips and you are good to go. Pigeon peas (Cajans cajans), produce quickly, fix nitrogen, provide wind screen and make good forage. Also consider chayote squash. Longer term, consider planting a few breadfruit trees, they take a few years to produce but they average 400 lbs. of fruit per tree.
Based on the length of the stem from the trunk to the leaf and the color of the trunk is tend to believe it is a plantain not a banana. A banana leaf is usually closer to the trunk and the plantain leaf will grow several inches away. The trunk in a banana will be darker in color while a plantain will have pinkish/reddish hues. Again, just a generalization, the fruit will be the proof.
JD, I didn't find anyone willing to dump their wood chips on our property for free, we live quite a ways out in the sticks. But we are planning to cover a significant portion of our land with mulch that we will buy. But will cover crops grow in mulch?
Some legumes might grow in mulch such as beans, peas, cow peas, and pigeon peas, other cover plants will not do too well, However you may plant by removing the mulch in furrows, plant your seeds and then re-cover it with the mulch. The mulch helps diminish soil temperature, and maintain moisture in the soil, which in turn makes the microbial and fungal activity possible, eventually breaking down into rich compost-like material. Go slow and observe, tweak as needed.
I am not sure on how low the temperature gets in your area but Moringa might be a quick biomass producer so by doing chop and drop. Another fast growing candidate could be the black locust tree that is also are able to fix nitrogen in the soil.
You might want to consider a marine bilge pump. Not sure about your power sources but with a 12 volt pump you can use your car. Secure the pump inside a 5 gallon bucket that has been drilled with 1/8 or 1/4 holes all over so it keeps debris from clogging the pump. Tie a rope to the pump and bucket and lower them to the river.
Perhaps start small and do your observations. Fence in two areas (to keep it affordable), in one, add your cover crops and the second one leave alone as your control area. Time it so the cover crops have a chance to grow, again observe when is temperature and moisture levels appropriate for growth.
If at all possible try to get free mulch or shredded vegetable matter to cover the soil, both in and outside the fenced in areas so that you start healing the land at an sustainable pace.
Jay Grace wrote:JD. if you get a chance to add an additional tree or two. Cornus Mas would be a good choice as a fruiting landscaping tree.
It’s a dogwood.
I like cornus kousa also. Buuuut it can have a messy fruit drop.
Hi, yes the Kousa dogwood is kind of messy, and I did not like the taste. I have never tasted a cornelian cherry so I will seek a seedling or two. I have plans to start another food forest in another area here in Va. so I am looking forward to to it.
Thanks for your insight.
Have you read about or watched Neal Spackman? If he can make it work in Saudi Arabia, just south of Mecca, it is doable.
If you are living on site or are planning to build, consider installing a grey water system. Also, mulch heavily with whatever vegetable matter is around on areas you are planning to plant.
I place cucumber peelings on their hills and they either die or move away. Save your peelings and soak them in water then soak the nest with the water and the peelings. I don't know why, but this works.
What is the usable life if the solar tiles? Solar panels and tiles will lose efficiency as time goes by. I think that a tin roof with solar panels is a more viable option and for about half the price. The solar panels will protect the roof so you might extend its life as an extra.
Have you considered the Pawpaw? Not the tropical papaya but the relative to graviola that grows in the USA. As a native to the USA, Asimina triloba will grow in temperate climates with no problems. They need some shade while growing.
ID help needed. Not sure of what this is. Its among my guerilla food forest. I've planted serviceberries, nanking cherries, apricots, hazelnuts ( not a hazelnut) and sand cherries. It looks like a cherry of sorts.
I believe this could be a wild black cherry that somehow hitched a ride.