I think the key lies in the definition of the word "profitable". A relationship between mycorrhizael fungi and trees is mutually profitable. I don't think the activities of, say, Rupert Murdoch should be described using the same term. Therefore, "profitable" for that which brings good to one or multiple parties, and "exploitative" for screwing over the other guy. If I make ropes, nets and baskets and the guy next door has a permaculture farm and we trade, it would be mutually profitable.
Well, you could try planting a mesquite hedge to keep out deer. Mesquite should do well in your area, and it has lots of thorns, is nitrogen fixing, and produces edible pods. The trick would be protecting it until it got started.... maybe just some fencing around each tree till it got big enough to survive on its own.
Hahaha, like seeing myself at that age. I was about eleven and a half when I first began to "see through the matrix" and learn about the world's problems. Four years later, I am just biding my time and learning skills (and experimenting in my backyard garden) until I can get land of my own.
The better the climate is, the less to do. Dry areas will need a bit of work (such as the establishment of drought tolerant legumes) before you can kick back and relax. Once the system is up and running, It should continue with very little management (this is the principle behind food forests in general).
I would think that unless nutrients were migrating off-site (as in farm sales), fertility should be maintained forever. A human living on the land is no more detrimental than a chimpanzee. Unless nutrients manage to escape as run-off, all nutrients will inevitably return to the soil. Obviously we use some nutrients in our bodies. But when we die, that is returned to the soil. Of course energy is lost, but that is continually harvested by plants from sunlight, so all we have to worry about is minerals. Of course, a small amount will probably be washed away as run-off, even in a primeval forest, but that process is so slow as to take millions of years and is not affected in any way by humans living on the land. Humans might even conceivably halt that process by removing minerals from streams and returning them to the soil.
A while ago I was musing over how I, one person, could effect significant change, and I cam up with the following method:
1. Go to poor village and buy some worthless, unproductive land on the outskirts. 2. Permaculturize land. 3. Give away lots of food to the community. 4. Teach anyone interested dhow to do it themselves, so long as they promise to do the same.
I could envision a little chain reaction unfolding.
If you sow some cover crop on them right away, they will get covered pretty quickly. The swales will damage the soil in the short term, but will begin yielding positive results very quickly. Swales can enable much greater plant growth during dryer times, and provide beneficial microclimates. The amount of soil destroyed by tilling once is small - yearly tilling is what is bad.
ellenrr wrote: Can someone tell me if I transplant it from my one garden to the other, is it likely to take, and also will I still get the benefits.
Yes, it should take, as long as you get most of the roots, plant it in a decent spot, and water. Both of the three purslane plants I have transplanted have survived, and one has produced seeds. They may not get big enough to harvest, but if you can't get seeds, they can produce them for you. (The plant I grew from seed is huge, the plant I transplanted very young is medium size, and the older plant is quite small).
I use mint as a groundcover in my forest garden. All my plants grow big enough to not be bothered by it. I use several different varieties, and have recently planted sweet potatoes as well. Once it is all grown, they should compete with each other and create edge spaces where light reaches the soil and allows seed germination.
Go hiking a lot . I'm not sure where you would find such information recorded all together, but hiking can tell you a lot about plants and the role each fills in the ecosystem. Also, talking to people who have spent time in the woods should help as well. You will notice that certain species inhabit areas that were logged somewhat recently, with other species dominant in older forests. Pay attention to clearings and edges.
Remember not to neglect the simplest explanation: people are more likely to notice something if they are looking for it. If an herbalist knew someone needed certain herbs, they would be guaranteed to notice those herbs growing nearby.
In my obnoxious opinion, it really doesn't matter what it would look like if left to its own devices. What matters is how to get the maximum biodiversity and productivity. Which usually turns out to be a mixture of forest and grassland (or wetland, in really wet areas). Which seems to be what those people are up to.
Really? That's odd. Apart from its invasive tendencies, I've heard only good things about the plant. According to the wikipedia page, it has actually been planted for its sweet smelling flowers. Is that really the same plant?
In a neglected corner of our yard, behind a shed, sandwiched between a concrete slab and a stone wall, grows a large fig tree. It volunteered itself there several years ago, and we just left it. Every year, it produces a lot of figs, but they seem too bland to be worth eating fresh. Am I ignorant of proper fig harvesting times/indoor ripening, or is this simply because it is a feral tree? Would the figs work well in baking or jams? Any input appreciated, since it is a shame to let so much food go to waste.
In that case mesquite should probably be fine with no supplemental irrigation. The trick is establishing it. It's main limit in the wild is that the small trees cannot survive on the limited rainfall. For that reason, the seeds only germinate well when quite wet. In nature, mesquite forms "bosques" around rivers, with new trees sprouting whenever a flood occurs. However, with human assistance in getting established, they can survive in drier environments. A fifty foot taproot picks up a lot of water (this effect is compounded in an area that has swales, which encourage more water to go into the ground instead of running off). Oh, and here's a question for you: is the russian olive irrigated?