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Reforestation - Growing trees in arid, barren lands - by Seeds and Clay cubes (no watering)

 
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Young trees are doing well....

Kostas
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View of area with rock rose
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Rock rose close up
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At the base of the plant
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The soil becomes enriched
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Trees growing
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Trees growing
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Trees growing
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Trees growing
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Trees growing
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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On page 16, the top portion, we discussed the effort to transplant some Cypress and pine trees to the Katsika mountain near Thessaloniki...

This morning I went for a short walk on this mountain.

None of the pine and Cypress trees survived....I walked about half of the area I planted.

I only found one holly oak growing.... thankful and happy to see it!!!

Just one tree growing on the top of a mountain, can have a huge impact on the area, if a long term (100 years) outlook is adapted.

This fall I may try again.

Kostas
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Holly Oak
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Pine
 
pollinator
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Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:

The cost of planting individual trees is cost prohibitive (time and money). Closely spaced, these trees can be used as ground cover, and once the ground temperature drops other trees can easily be grown among them.



I'm hoping to try this now that the rainy season is getting underway, with moringa seeds. We have a lot of goats to fight with, but I'm hoping we can best them with sheer numbers! If we plant thousands of seeds in a relatively close proximity, the goats can't kill them all! Moringa makes a great support layer because it doesn't give dense shade, fixes nitrogen, grows rapidly, is drought resistant, works great for chop and drop, and you can eat it!
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Hello Priscilla,

You cannot fight the goats....

fence an area, even if its small then plant a large variety of seeds...

better yet plant in an area that is not grazed


Kostas

 
Priscilla Stilwell
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Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello Priscilla,

You cannot fight the goats....

fence an area, even if its small then plant a large variety of seeds...

better yet plant in an area that is not grazed


Kostas



There are no un-grazed areas. We're working on fencing the land, but 200 acres is a lot of fence! I actually think it will work. As weeds and grass have been provided more shade from finally maturing trees (right around campus being the only place that isn't regularly decimated for charcoal), even in the dry season the goats aren't able to out-graze the weeds. That's quite a difference even from last year when everything was grazed down to bare dirt. That should give enough diversity, along with the several thousand vetiver plugs I'll plant, to allow survival for at least a decent percentage. We'll find out.

My plan is to plant Lycenna, neem, and moringa in large numbers, along with the aforementioned vetiver. It's actually the human component that most drastically affects reforesting efforts.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Priscilla,
Fence a small area, like 10x10, plant with seeds or cuttings (no watering), and watch it flourish...this will guide you in the future.
For a larger plot you can use trees like gleditsia that have large thorns that even cows do not dare cross...they will grow fast and have multiple uses.
Kostas
 
Priscilla Stilwell
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Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Priscilla,
Fence a small area, like 10x10, plant with seeds or cuttings (no watering), and watch it flourish...this will guide you in the future.
For a larger plot you can use trees like gleditsia that have large thorns that even cows do not dare cross...they will grow fast and have multiple uses.
Kostas



I've already done that, but I think I didn't make the project clear. I live at the University in their guest house, with my husband and our fur kids. I'm working with the university to develop a large amount of it's 200 acres for agriculture through the agronomy program here. And part of that is to install a large food forest that will begin, along with the vegetable gardens, producing food for the several hundred students currently on campus. The fencing available is focused on the vegetables and smaller plots. I'm fencing individual trees with three posts, but we need to get organic material moving AND we need to be soaking the ground with the rain. Hence why the Swale system and various vetiver plantings will be important to start now. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be later, or the less progress we can make.

If the land we were talking about was less than an acre, I'd agree with you. But not in this case. A small garden won't feed hundreds of students.

We are planting euphoria hedges, but the goats train "doorways" into them and they get knocked down. There is some wire fencing, but it lasts about 2 years tops around here before it rusts away. There are the traditional brush fences (which is around the vegetable garden currently), but those have to be actively maintained and repaired, at least two or three times a year. So our only real solution is cement walls. We're working with our engineering students to make a wall from a combination of local rock (which is plentiful in our area) and plastic bottles filled with sand and set with mortar. But again, I'm not waiting for that to be done, even though initially, we'll probably focus on enclosing 5-10 acres of campus.

Hope that helps to clarify.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Sounds like a wonderful and challenging project...

A food forest, especially from seed is a long term project...15+ years, but once established, it will forever feed a large number of people.

Kostas
 
Priscilla Stilwell
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Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Sounds like a wonderful and challenging project...

A food forest, especially from seed is a long term project...15+ years, but once established, it will forever feed a large number of people.

Kostas



Yes, a great project for the students here to be part of.

We will be getting most of our fruit trees already fairly well established at a meter or so, so it should begin producing to some degree in the next year, especially with some of the acerola cherries, mulberries, and such, and leaf crops like Chaya and morning. That, along with the vegetables will begin to take care of much of the campus food needs for the time being. We're also working towards a large banana and plantain garden intercroped with root vegetables and papaya and such. That WILL be fenced in though. Ha.

Currently we feed between 350-400 people each day with students, staff, and professors. A tragic amount of that food is imported, much from the US (PLEASE stop giving food "aid" to nations desperately trying to reclaim their agricultural industries!), and so we hope to change that drastically. Baby steps. Though my steps are like giant steps! Haha
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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I would imagine your ultimate goal is to reforest Haiti and turn it into a giant food forest...a garden of Eden, as it once was.

It's doable especially in s tropical climate!!!

You might be interested in an inexpensive solar oven...easy to put together...

https://solarcooking.fandom.com/wiki/E%26S_Solar_Oven

Kostas
 
Priscilla Stilwell
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Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:I would imagine your ultimate goal is to reforest Haiti and turn it into a giant food forest...a garden of Eden, as it once was.

It's doable especially in s tropical climate!!!

You might be interested in an inexpensive solar oven...easy to put together...

https://solarcooking.fandom.com/wiki/E%26S_Solar_Oven

Kostas



We actually have two large solar ovens that rarely get used here. Haitians almost never cook in ovens. They use them to make bread sometimes, but again, wheat is imported.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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I am sure you are training....raising a new generation that will do what is right and good
Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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The principles of Natural Farming, by Masanobu Fukuoka, San

1. No tilling of the soil
2. No fertilizers
3. No pesticides

It's been over 40 years since the publication of the One Straw Revolution, and the then obsurd ideas he discussed, have become the future, now.

The wall street journal published an article, describing how an Iowa farmer uses no till no improve the soil and capture carbon in the process. There is talk of using subsidies for farmers who do not till.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-get-rid-of-carbon-emissions-pay-farmers-to-bury-them-11568211869

It's amazing, how a small man, in the middle of nowhere, with a great idea,  comes to change the world...for the better.


Kostas



 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Fruit trees are often overlooked in reforestation schemes that prioritize hardiness, and that needs to change, says Ali Haider, the incoming director of Senegal’s Great Green Wall agency. “If you give someone a tree that she doesn’t need, she won’t take care of it.” Give her something she values instead, he says, something she can cook, sell or use for medicine. “Then she will protect it because it improves her life.

This is the 1st time I hear an official of any capacity state that fruit trees should be used in reforestation efforts.

Mr. Haider is stating the obvious.

The above is from very good Time Magazine article on Africa's Great Green Wall.

https://time.com/5669033/great-green-wall-africa/?amp=true

The author of the article comprehends the problem, and has answered many of my questions about this huge project.

The GGW project is more than just planting trees.

Kostas





 
Priscilla Stilwell
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It's the norm for people in Haiti to talk about reforesting with productive trees. Food, timber, and medicine, pretty much in that order (though they can clearly overlap). It's well understood that this is the only real way to make reforestation happen.
 
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An easy way to increase fruit production on your trees, is to use a French tree training method known as Espalier. Here's a link on how to do it and why it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AndkmfSBOs&t=2s
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Thank you for the link William.

Hello Priscilla,

Farmers want to "reforest" using fruit and nut trees to eat and make money, and forestry officials want to plant pine and acacia trees to create what they consider a "forest"

To a farmer, it's a waste of space and energy to plant  conifers, acacia, gleditsia etc and to a forestry professor,  apple or almond trees, are not considered a trees.

Such madness.

A healthy forest contains a large variety of trees, shrubs and grasses.

The objective is to create ground cover and new healthy soil. This is easier said than done in an arid zones.

I imagine it's much easier in the tropics.

I believe that every piece of land has a few trees and shrubs and grasses that it just loves to grow; and they grow easily/effortlessly there, by seed...just place the seeds in the ground and the appropriate species will grow, with no care or watering.

The hard part is to look, observe, learn and experiment to determine what to plant. In semi desert conditions you may need to start with grasses and shrubs to change the local microclimate.

Monoculture plantations of either forestry or farmer/fruit trees are a product of greed and are not good for the soil or mankind.

Kostas
 
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MY ilex rotundifolia acorns  are starting to fall.



Plenty still left on the tree though.



I just picked a nice big bowlful.



There are a few damaged ones that I'll pick out and give to the ducks.  But what do I do about the others?  Are they fully ripe or should I wait for brown ones to fall?  Should I pop these ones intp the freezer overnight to kill any potential bugs and then get them sent off as soon as possible?  All advice gratefully received.  I may repost this in the other thread too.
 
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Hi,
I am not sure that acorns of Q. ilex will sprout after being frozen deeply. The water inside the acorns may form cristals while freezing, which could destroy the embryo. I usually freeze seeds to destroy pests, but acorns cannot dry out completely and keep viability.

I inspected acorns individually for any holes or scar of a hole, thend put them in the fridge for a few months. There is a small risk of overlooking pests.
 
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Here is a very intersting podcast all about how to use edible acorns.

Edible Acorns Podcast

Burra, I have had acorn coffee prepared by an acquaintance in Porto. It wasn't at all like coffee but it was drinkable.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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I recently came across a tree that may become useful in our reforestation efforts.

While visiting the Pelion region of Greece, at one of the local restaurants we were offered a local delicacy, which was, we were told the preserved tender leaves if a wild tree that grows in the area.

After some investigation, it was determined that the tree was the wild pistachio tree...Pistacia terebinthus.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistacia_terebinthus

Any tree that grows wild and has edible leaves and fruit, is a good find. I will try to find seeds and see if it fits our requirements for our efforts.

Its amazing to me that I never noticed this tree before. There is a hugh one growing at the southern edge of our farm...it must be 15 to 20 feet high. There are at least 3 more small ones growing on the farm….I had seen before, but paid no attention.

This useful tree, may join our small list of trees... certainly hope so.

Kostas




 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Thank You Burra,

I was wondering if we can wait until late October to collect acorns...that's the time we usually place them in the ground.

I hope your trees don't drop all the acorns before then.

I collected some pyrus spinosa fruit,  do you have this tree in your part of the world...I can send you some to try, if you don't have them.

Kostas
 
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