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Guild design for the tropics

 
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Hi there!

I am interested in some information on guild designs for South India (10 deg. N). Please reply if you know of any resources that would help me.

Thanks!
Hema
 
gardener
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I'm not sure how many tropicals we have around here... also the PRI site (the Permies competition.seems to have lots of sub-tropical and tropical gardeners...
http://forums.permaculture.org.au/forumdisplay.php?9-Planting-growing-nurturing-Plants

Also the question is pretty general... you might have to provide more information about your climate and target species
 
Hema Jain
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Hello Paul!

Thanks for your reply. The tropical trees I have in mind are mango, papaya, jack fruit, banana, coconut, neem. The climate of the place I have in mind, in south India, is hot and humid. I have read that this place used to be the home of a rain forest 300 years ago; now it is either barren land or concrete jungle My husband and I plan to work in this area on a reforestation project.

Hema
 
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Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Nice list of trees.  I would suggest some citrus, avocado and moringa oleifera as well. 

Two of my favorite tropical climbing vines are malabar spinach and asian winged bean. 

Pigeon pea would be a good choice for nitrogen fixing perennial, especially as the forest is getting established. 

Ginger and turmeric are natural understory plants.  Pineapple, too. 


 
Hema Jain
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Thanks Yukkuri!
Your additions to my list are quite valuable. I didn't know that Malabar Spinach was a vine; I remember growing it in our backyard as a small plant.

Hema
 
Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I've seen much talk about sweet potato for tubers and shoots as a groundcover.  I'd love to spend some time in the tropics.  Good luck! 
 
Hema Jain
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Paul,
Thanks for your reply. What kind of shoots dis you have in mind? And yes, I have heard about Sweet Potatoes planted in a Banana Circle.

Hema
 
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Hema,

I'm in the Philippines at 10.5 degrees north latitude. I'm just got started over the last year and a half. I've got about 4.5 hectares mostly on the mountain side between 300 meters and 750 meters. Currently I have Coconut, Avocado, Mango, Jack Fruit, Mahagoney, Banana, Corn, Sweet Potato (various local roots), Goats, Pigs, Native Chickens, and one water buffalo. I had a horse but it fell down the mountainside and died (It's steep).

Recently I've planted: Coffee, Pineapple, Citrus (Lime, Lemon (African, American), Calimansi, Lemoncito, Giant Lemoncito, Mandarian Orange), Santol, Cinnamon, Lazones, Rambotan, Durian, Jack Fruit, Pumelo, Apple Mango, Aloe Vera.

Soon I plan to plant: Bamboo, Cacao, Black Pepper, Vanilla orchids, Sugar Cane, Moringa, Pidgeon Pea, Dwarf Coconut, Tambis, and a few different hardwoods.

Honey Bees, Composting, and Vermaculture are on the wishlist.

I'm new to farming and to Permaculture but am hopeful that I can eventually create a self sustaining food forest with surplus. I'm trying to learn how to create beneficial tropical guilds. I am a beginner.

- Vince

 
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Hi Hema,
did you find any progress?...
i'm curently doing some volunteer in south india to established permaculture site on community organic agriculture
i would like to share with you with my knowledge about guild design for tropic climate
i'm in rural india close to Martalli untill 1 of may and will going back to Australia.

Jayadi
 
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Jayadi : If you are still on the site it would be great to hear your ideas about tropical fruit guilds . Thank you.
 
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Hi Guys,

I am from Indoensia and just purchased a 11 Hectare ex farm which is equipped with a 1 ha greenhouse (needs a lot of repairs). We are located in 6°50'15.6"S 107°03'43.9"E. With 750 - 800 meters above sea level.
I was wondering if anyone could help me to give a guild guide on a tropical climate.
Just to give a brief understanding. We are fruit distributors here and have been focusing on Papaya, Banana, Avocados and durians. Now that we have our own farm, we would like to start our farm with the basis of permaculture that includes but not limited to the above said crops.  We would appreciate if anyone could give some sort of direction on this.

thanks
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Most guilds follow a pattern.
You want a nitrogen fixer/legume, this should be 90% at establishment and then culled/dieback to 25% at maturity
You want herbs from the mint/thyme family, onion/garlic family, carrot/cellery family and other families
You want both a sun loving species
You want a shade-tolerant species, usually a berry plant, that is hard to kill
You can have a shallow root and a deep root species too.

In temperate regions we usually only have fruiting plants from 3 families: legume family, rose family, and possible the walnut family. We don't have alot of chooses so it is easy. But in the tropics most fruits are from different family and so any it is super easy to make a guild. Just plant a mixture of plants, the biggest thing is the legume, then plant from different family groups and lastly plants that actually like your soil type.

The only other thing that I would add to your guild is slowly adding biochar to your soil over the years, and letting the critters/soil microbes move it around for you. Bio-char because tropical soils don't doesn't work well with woodchip.
 
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Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
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S Bengi wrote:
You want a nitrogen fixer/legume, this should be 90% at establishment and then culled/dieback to 25% at maturity



In the tropics, the possibilities are endless. Pigeon pea was mentioned earlier in the thread. Now, I don't know which legumes you have in India, but I can give you an idea of the diversity by telling you about the Caribbean ones I know.

The most ubiquitous tree in the Dominican countryside is known as the "fence post tree' (Gliricidia sepium). Literally every barbed wire fence uses this for the posts, because all you have to do is cut vertical limbs off an existing fence post tree, set them as fence posts, and most of them will take root and become trees themselves. As a secondary use, farmers will also cut its leafy boughs for cattle feed.

In the open pastures, the most wide-spreading shade tree is the monkey pod (Albizia saman). Besides providing shade (valuable in the tropics), it is also the best quality local wood for furniture (except for mahogany, which is expensive and mainly for export). I have seen cow pats full of monkey pod seedlings (I have attached a picture), which tells me that its pods are another cattle feed.

Then there is West Indian locust (Hymenea courbaril). A local person told me it was "algarroba," which means carob, and I did indeed find that the powder inside its pods could be used like carob. (The real carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is also a legume.)

We have the tamarind (Tamarindus indica), whose scientific name tells me that you have it in India, too -- so you surely know about its tart pulp, which, I now see in Wikipedia's table, is especially rich in Thiamine (that is, vitamin B1).

And that's just the trees! My point being that if you choose carefully, the legumes you put in for nitrogen fixation can serve additional purposes over and above that.
Cowpie-Seedlings.JPG
Monkey pod seedlings growing from a cow pat
Monkey pod seedlings growing from a cow pat
 
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