Greetings from the Sunshine state! My question for Toby was basically his thoughts on using Permaculture on old strip-mined lands. In Central/East Tennessee in a very magical place called the Upper Cumberlands is a beautiful tract of land. The Upper Cumberlands, run from North Alabama, through Tennessee and up into Kentucky as far as I know, but could go farther as they are apart of the Appalachian chain. These tracts of lands are reasonably priced and offer untold beauty for all to see. Knowing that this was once mined and that the scenery I gaze upon has been much altered by man, I wonder? Could these lands flourish again and bring forth substance for all to benefit from, while healing itself? I have done a small amount of research on-line and I find not many people speaking on this subject. My family and I would like to create a forest garden, rotational graze our very small herd of livestock on sustainable pastures and heal the land and ourselves through putting permaculture to practice. If anyone is doing this, great! let's here from you. If you know of someone already doing it, please let us know and kind thoughts would be appreciated! Toby, again thank you for all that you do. Enjoying The Journey...Hugh
Other than the concern about heavy toxic substances as mentioned above I would see no reason why it could not be done. I did a term paper for an environmental class on reclaiming a mountain top removal sited and delved into the subject doing my research. I hate to use the word advantage when talking about a strip mine so I will insert unique characteristics. If you have sections with high PH then due to the lack of trees it is pristine in regards to mycelium. There may be a good opportunity for planting hazelnuts inoculated with truffles.
I know dawn redwood can handle extremely high acid soil so it may be a good wind break species in high acid areas.
One of the reasons you do not see much on reclaiming strip-mines is the land is locked up in regulation. The law states that the land has to be restored to topography similar to the original profile unless it is being developed for another use. So the land is always in the process of development so it is never fully reclaimed
How big of site do you have to work with?
Also what is the price per acre for these tracts? I may be interested in one as a possible demonstration for some little fantasy I have.
I am the first generation of my family to grow up on the grid eating out of the super market. I hope to be the last.