• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Un-forest

 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 558
Location: Soutwest Ohio
90
books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So there are traditional gardens, forest gardens, etc. Most of the time, when I hear about polyculture gardening, it is referenced either as a food forest or forest garden. I have been wondering if there is another term out there that encompasses more than just forest biomes. I sort of envision a term that covers all varieties of ecosystem mimicry that is bent to favor human habitation (food, medicine, materials, etc) so that while it does include a forest garden, it could just as easily include a prairie style pasture or a human-centric 'desert' biome. Does such a term already exist and I am unaware of it or do I need to invent the word for my little project?
 
Lynsey Nico
Posts: 29
Location: Copenhagen
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think the broadest term is "edible landscaping," and in a desert biome it would be an "edible xeriscape."

The idea you are getting at falls under the umbrella term "bioregionalism."

Forest biomes are often chosen in areas with sufficient rainfall because they are very efficient for soil building: they can even be achieved in the desert, without irrigation (I recently saw a case study in the Sonoran desert). People working with agroforestry are in some way attempting to counter-act deforestation: forests are cleared to make grasslands and pasture at an alarming rate, so it makes sense that permaculturists often try and focus on reforestation efforts and thus forest biomes.

I also have the impression that biomes like grassland, alpine, wetland etc. tolerate less human disturbance, and would be harder to usefully replicate (ie. their animal constituents would be less inclined to live there if humans are present, whereas a forest biome lends itself to domesticated animal husbandry). It would be more useful for people to just leave natural biomes of those types alone.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm reading Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources. It explains how the Native Americans managed the land, blurring the lines between farming, gardening, horticulture, hunter gatherer.

I think horticulture is the term you're looking for, though.
 
Scott Strough
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
D. Logan wrote:So there are traditional gardens, forest gardens, etc. Most of the time, when I hear about polyculture gardening, it is referenced either as a food forest or forest garden. I have been wondering if there is another term out there that encompasses more than just forest biomes. I sort of envision a term that covers all varieties of ecosystem mimicry that is bent to favor human habitation (food, medicine, materials, etc) so that while it does include a forest garden, it could just as easily include a prairie style pasture or a human-centric 'desert' biome. Does such a term already exist and I am unaware of it or do I need to invent the word for my little project?
I am not sure if it actually applies 100% of the time, but the context you are looking for is Holistic management.

Holistic management is similar to permaculture in that it explicitly recognizes and provides a framework for adapting to four basic ecosystem processes: the water cycle, the mineral cycle including the carbon cycle, energy flow, and community dynamics (the relationship between organisms in an ecosystem) as equal in importance to food production and social welfare. But holistic management started with rangeland and grasslands and expanded to include other ecosystems, and then social systems, and permaculture started with forests and expanded to include other ecosystems and then social systems, and the two have met in the middle and basically are the same thing because they both use biomimicry. Since they both mimic nature and natural systems, and both also address the context of human culture as well, there are very few essential differences between them.

The developer of Holistic management is Allan Savory. He is on the Leaderboard here if you are curious.

Lynsey Nico wrote:
I also have the impression that biomes like grassland, alpine, wetland etc. tolerate less human disturbance, and would be harder to usefully replicate (ie. their animal constituents would be less inclined to live there if humans are present, whereas a forest biome lends itself to domesticated animal husbandry). It would be more useful for people to just leave natural biomes of those types alone.
A common mistake. In fact the very same mistake that has resulted in the deterioration of so much of the world's brittle grasslands and semi arid regions. They desperately need our help, even more than the forests. Over resting them only makes them deteriorate even worse.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3646
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
78
bee chicken fungi solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Scott Strough wrote:
Lynsey Nico wrote:
I also have the impression that biomes like grassland, alpine, wetland etc. tolerate less human disturbance, and would be harder to usefully replicate (ie. their animal constituents would be less inclined to live there if humans are present, whereas a forest biome lends itself to domesticated animal husbandry). It would be more useful for people to just leave natural biomes of those types alone.
A common mistake. In fact the very same mistake that has resulted in the deterioration of so much of the world's brittle grasslands and semi arid regions. They desperately need our help, even more than the forests. Over resting them only makes them deteriorate even worse.


Yes, this is talked about at length in Tending the Wild. Leaving grasslands "alone" usually means they turn into forest which is OK but given a slight human nudge, either through burning like the natives did, or Managed Intensive Grazing like Allen Savory promotes, results in a far greater yield and much greater biodiversity.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 558
Location: Soutwest Ohio
90
books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lynsey Nico wrote: The idea you are getting at falls under the umbrella term "bioregionalism."


This sounds like a pretty good and inclusive term. I will have to research it more deeply. Thanks for pointing the direction!

Cj Verde wrote: I'm reading Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources. It explains how the Native Americans managed the land, blurring the lines between farming, gardening, horticulture, hunter gatherer.

I think horticulture is the term you're looking for, though.


I haven't read the book, but I have known for years that many of the 'natural' places in the US had been well tended prior to the sweeping death of disease depopulating areas so badly. That, in fact, is part of why I was trying to figure out what the right term would have been. I had considered horticulture, but the issue I have with using that term is that it is often seen by a lot of people as just meaning small row gardens and such. I was aiming for a term that had less personal opinion attached so that people who didn't know about it wouldn't come in with preconceived notions about what it was.

Scott Strough wrote: I am not sure if it actually applies 100% of the time, but the context you are looking for is Holistic management.


Another good term. The downside to this one I think is that people familiar with it will already be thinking about grasslands first much as how permaculture gets automatically associated with forests by default.

Thanks to each of you who have added your insights and thoughts! Each post has been extremely helpful.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj Verde wrote:
Scott Strough wrote:
Lynsey Nico wrote:
I also have the impression that biomes like grassland, alpine, wetland etc. tolerate less human disturbance, and would be harder to usefully replicate (ie. their animal constituents would be less inclined to live there if humans are present, whereas a forest biome lends itself to domesticated animal husbandry). It would be more useful for people to just leave natural biomes of those types alone.
A common mistake. In fact the very same mistake that has resulted in the deterioration of so much of the world's brittle grasslands and semi arid regions. They desperately need our help, even more than the forests. Over resting them only makes them deteriorate even worse.


Yes, this is talked about at length in Tending the Wild. Leaving grasslands "alone" usually means they turn into forest which is OK but given a slight human nudge, either through burning like the natives did, or Managed Intensive Grazing like Allen Savory promotes, results in a far greater yield and much greater biodiversity.


One of my favorite book!!!

Right, this is a mistake to think about "letting alone" nature. She needs our help.
We, having hands and a specific brain, were supposed to be the tenders of the garden of Eden.
We are part of nature, and wild nature does not mean without us!

It even mean less that we should only visit it in national parks.
We have the right to act upon it, if we do it in a beneficial way.
The benefit is a benefit only if it is for all, the species, other animals, and us as well.
 
William James
gardener
Posts: 1008
Location: Northern Italy
23
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Would "Agro-Ecology" work?

Permaculture design, holistic management, horticulture, etc. Aren't they all just ways to provide for human needs from a rehabilitated and regenerative ecosystem?

see the article by Rafter Ferguson
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13593-013-0181-6#page-1

William
 
Scott Strough
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
William James wrote:Would "Agro-Ecology" work?

Permaculture design, holistic management, horticulture, etc. Aren't they all just ways to provide for human needs from a rehabilitated and regenerative ecosystem?

see the article by Rafter Ferguson
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13593-013-0181-6#page-1

William


That works, so does "ecoagriculture".

But honestly, I am old school. To me organic agriculture means all those things and more. Of course I am old enough that I started growing organic long before the industrial marketers fraudulently co-opted the name, and then the government in an attempt to eliminate the fraud, messed it up for everyone (except the industrial organic guys).
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic