Food Forest Fertility


Well here we are, it’s our last day, of a warm month, on grand permaculture in
action internship at the Greening the Desert site in Jordan. And I’m going to take for a
little bit of a last minute tour. Let’s have a look. Everybody’s engaged. There’s people still
working on irrigation. There’s plenty of chop and drop going on. Of course, Amphti’s still here working. Amphti, Hadya went off to the toilet and you have to take over
and starts doing her job. Cutting Neem at the moment, natural fertilizer nit shampoo, that’ll be made into a sort of
of a natural pesticide shampoo. There’s lots of branches coming down. Just look at this canopy,
it opened right up. So a lot of the mulch trees, a lot of the legume trees have
been cut down and mulched. This is real chop and drop. There’s mulch on everything. There’s compost underneath the mulch. Got a lot of branches, got a lot of twigs, got a lot of high quality mulch leaves. Quite a different landscape
actually, it’s opening right up. This is the time of year when you do this, when the evaporation
of a rainfall finishes. Your rainfall of evaporation starts, or at least the temperatures
reduce the evaporation and eventually we get some rainfall. A hibiscus tiliaceus has
been cut right down again, it was cut last year. We’ve just cut an acacia,
which probably won’t recover, but it was, it was time. Got mulch going down all our trees. Asila, you still mulching? Yep. Yeah. We’re doing more mulching on
mass than we’ve done all month. It’s all about strategic timing. Actually, we’ve never seen so much mulch. Every year there’s more mulch. I can see the promise of
growths in these trees. I can see the little ground
covers that are established. Their going to boom. These little ground covers
going over the rock walls. Everything’s getting fertilizer on it. Everything’s got high quality mulch. Everything’s going to respond. And this leucaena was
cut, about two weeks ago and that’s how much
re-sprout’s already come. We’ve strategically designed this system, so we can time the way
the actual forest falls and feeds the soil. And that’s the most important function, the way the forest falls. Our citrus on the back line
here are going really well. And up in this section, which is one of the least fertile areas, it just looks like it’s
going to explode with growth. We’ve got these little chopped branches, their going to go on top of the nitrogen rich leucaena green mulch. So we’re going to cover
up our green mulch, which is covering up our compost, so we’re going to lock that
fertilizer down into the ground. So as we get cooler temperatures,
which is bound to happen. And any rain is going to push that beautiful compost green
mulch and carbon mulch protection on the top. It’s going to push that
decomposing natural fertilizer into the soil profiles. This is what it’s about. A forest grows on a fallen forest. And the fungi are the teeth that chew down the wood into
the soil creating humus. And this has been a site, sometimes chaotic, but extremely active action. It’s a system completely transferred into a re-assembly of organic matter. And we’re the designer’s, we’re the activist’s involved. We’re actually re-assembling
the organic matter in favor of the productive tree. And at the same time, there’s
a new evolution of irrigation. There’s a ring rain going
round in two circles. SO with just two switches, we can actually switch one ring rain on, or a second ring rain on, or a third ring rain
that’s a little bit smaller for the vegetable gardens. Every year, we change the
evolution a little bit. It’s a learning experience, but it’s a system that’s
dynamically evolving. And that’s one of the keys, allow your system to
demonstrate it’s evolutions and then dynamically adjust. Everywhere I look, I can just see beautiful shots of organic matter around trees. There’s a Brazil Cherry here. It’s a small tree, but it’s alive. It’s been here for two or three years now. It’s third year, and it’s looking okay. It’ll definitely make it to the summer. That’s actually a sub-tropical fruit tree, a Brazilian Cherry. This is a very interesting site. I can see it going forward
as a classic example now.

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