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edible forest gardens case study 2  RSS feed

 
Kevin Swanson
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I've been reading edible forest garden and I am confused on a particular image page 117 figure c2.6. This case study is located in England(I think this piece of iinfo may be key to my misunderstanding). The figure states 'with taller trees to the south and shorter ones to the north'. It says this will allow more sunlight to the north part of the garden. Where I live this would be the opposite. I'm located in MA.

Thanks!
 
Tyler Ludens
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It's either a misprint or the study was done in Australia, in my opinion.


 
Kevin Swanson
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I hope you're right! I've read the subtitle so many times thinking I was being dsylexic.
 
tel jetson
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if the tall trees were in the middle, for instance, the north side of the land would get less light than if they're at the south. if the short plants were all at the south, and the tall trees at the north, the trees would get plenty of light, but the understory would not. this is all assuming a parcel of land within a certain range of sizes, though. bigger or smaller and it's a whole different scenario. also depends on which season(s) one is trying to adapt for.
 
Eric Toensmeier
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Hi everybody sorry that's a typo, I'll flag it for the next printing! Eric Toensmeier
 
Joshua Finch
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I think what they are meaning is that the shade of the elm at its tallest will only reach to the second plum and perhaps to the apple- leaving the last bit with the small gooseberry and plum tree to have sun. Eventually the apple will grow tall enough to shade those last two plants.

Since the garden is already established, they can't go back and redesign it with the tallest trees along the northern edge as would be intuitive.

Edit- or not! How did I not see the Eric's post? Haha.

 
Eric Toensmeier
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Hi I looked at it again, and I was wrong just now. Typically you want the tallest plants to the north, but in this case study the tallest elms were on the south side (on the neighbor's land). Dave calculated the shade they cast, and figured out that they allowed full sun at the far north edge of the garden since their shadow only went so far.
 
Joshua Finch
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Eric,

I was wondering if on the Dynamic Accumulator table, was there a flip flop with the plants listed as accumulating Copper (Cu) and Cobalt (Co)? I've always read that horsetails accumulate copper- which is supposedly rare- but the table has them listed as accumulating cobalt? There are many more species listed as accumulating copper than cobalt, but I would think this was the other way around?

 
Eric Toensmeier
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Hi Joshua, much of that data is from Kourick's Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally. I'm afraid my copy is on loan, but you could cross-reference and see if there's a copy error on our part, not at all impossible.

To be honest I'm not a big user of the dynamic accumulator idea. Data is available for so few species. I figure anything robust is probably doing the job to some degree. Eventually we need to return the nutrients we take out except for carbon (photosynthesis) and nitrogen (if and only if sufficient nitrogen fixers are present). Dynamic accumulators are only mining the subsoil until it runs out, so to me they are great as part of a closed-loop system but not the secret of unlimited eternal fertility. Again, unless you have a composting toilet and return 100% to the garden.
 
Pamela Melcher
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Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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Joshua,

In answer to your question:


"I was wondering if on the Dynamic Accumulator table, was there a flip flop with the plants listed as accumulating Copper (Cu) and Cobalt (Co)? I've always read that horsetails accumulate copper- which is supposedly rare- but the table has them listed as accumulating cobalt?"


I checked my copy of Robert Kourik's book, Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally, which Eric cites as the source of his info, on page269, where Horsetails appear in the Dynamic Accumulators chart, and it lists them as accumulating Cobalt, but not Copper.

So maybe Kourik made a mistake?

Hope this helps.

Pamela Melcher
A relative newbie delighted to help
 
Kevin Swanson
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Hi Eric,

Thanks for responding to my inquiry. It's nice to have an author actively responding to questions!

 
Pamela Melcher
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Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
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I second the appreciation shown to Eric by Robert Marr )))

Pamela Melcher
 
Jennifer Albanese
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So glad you said that, Eric, about the dynamic accumulators. In addition to adding compost to my garden and planting accumulators, I have been testing the soil and remineralizing it based on what it needs to be balanced. Part of me felt like I was cheating on permaculture, but once the soil is in a more balanced state, optimized for growing particular plants, and you recycle your waste back into the system, the amount of input decreases over time. Some soils simply do not have the minerals to mine in the first place. Do you remineralize or recommend to do so?
 
Eric Toensmeier
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We did some rock dust and greensand. Our soils are terrible urban fill and needed some help. I don't think it is cheating at all.

The EFG book talks about self-renewing fertility in FORESTS but that's misleading because no one is harvesting from the forests but not returning nutrients.
 
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