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Taking advantage of the mesquites???  RSS feed

 
Jon La Foy
Posts: 97
Location: Hopkinsville, KY (Western KY) Zone 7
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So about a week ago, I had started thinking about how, if someone really wanted to, could farm a single crop (like corn) in large numbers organically. Not that I would ever do this, especially not nasty corn, but still curious; there will always be someone who does not fully apreciated permaculture and this could be a somewhat medium. My biggest problem with large commercial farming is the fertilizer. Every year more needs to be used due to the effects on the ground, so how could one eliminate that and still produce a large amount of food/crop? That's when nitrogen fixers came to my head. If someone could plant nitrogen fixing trees, let's say mesquites, in rows (probably on berms) along the crop field, then the whole ground should be able to receive nitrogen fixing. The crops can be planted between them and the harvesters should still be able to reach all of the plants.
Then, the other day, I saw it done! Someone who lives near me has a field, probably thirty acres, lined with berms that are covered in honey mesquites. And the grass, since there are currently no crops, is WAY greener than everywhere else.
So, I planted this in the southwest forum, because I know that there are many places in the SW that are overgrown with mesquites, particularly. South Texas brush country being probably the biggest. So why isn't anyone clearing these thickets to manageable sizes and growing crops/permacultre in between?
I know it's a lot, and I beat around the corner a lot, but that's it... Why isn't overgrown mesquite thickets/forests being taken advantage of?
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 115
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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I think planting grape vines in our native mesquites would be a fun project.
 
Jon La Foy
Posts: 97
Location: Hopkinsville, KY (Western KY) Zone 7
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That's a great idea Wayne! The trees would act like the trellis and they'd be fertilized. I see a potential problem if the tree gets too tall, grabbing the grapes. But with proper pruning, it can easily be done. You should look into it!
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 115
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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Jon La Foy wrote:That's a great idea Wayne! The trees would act like the trellis and they'd be fertilized. I see a potential problem if the tree gets too tall, grabbing the grapes. But with proper pruning, it can easily be done. You should look into it!

I would try it since my property is in Az. wine country, but I don't have any native Mesquite. I do have a couple of small Chileans growing, but way to small right now.

I need to talk to some of the other property owners around me about trying it.
 
Jon La Foy
Posts: 97
Location: Hopkinsville, KY (Western KY) Zone 7
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Well, there is plenty of velvet mesquite in Arizona. I don't know how much is down in your parts... I was in Cochise County for a few months but that was before I knew of peramculture or any plants really. But either way, velve mesquite is native and you should grow some. It might be some time before they will be large enough to act as a trellis, but they don't need to be too big; only about four feet tall. If more people did that, places like the barren southeast Arizona would become a wonderfully green oasis!!
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