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uses include:
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How to divide land with crop fields en fruit trees forest  RSS feed

 
Mohamed Ahkim
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The title says it. I am thinking about how to design a possible land including fruit fields and crop fields (see for example the Wadi rum permacukture project in Jordan). See the attachment for a drawing to make the problem clear. The climate is semi desert, rainfall is say 5 inches yearly.

I know that we should keep in mind that wind barriers etc should be included in the design.

Thank you
whatisbetter.jpg
[Thumbnail for whatisbetter.jpg]
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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With permaculture, so much depends on your location that it is hard to say which one is going to be better for you, though I tend to think in terms of swales for your situation, so the drawing with parallel strips is likely the way to go.  You are right to think that wind is going to be a major factor.  Primary, though, is water.  You have a limited amount of rainfall, and you will want to catch this in well mulched swales, and have your fruit tree forest bands be on the downhill side of these swales.  Next on your list should be access.  In my mind, generally you are going to have your hard travel surfaces be just upslope of your swales, thus giving you maximum rain run off going into your swales.  While cropping is great, getting your tree systems established is your primary concern.  After that, the individual fruit trees and groups of fruit trees will provide a better microclimate for growing crops in their vicinity.  The roadways also gives you access to your fruit and your crops; the latter will possibly be upslope of your roadway.  You might need to crop, at least in the initial phases, in the swale or in the cover of growing trees.

If the wind is cross slope, it will run the length of your swales and thus it will have full run between your bands of fruit trees.  This is not good for your cropping areas, and as a result you will probably want to interplant windbreak trees in hedgerows going upslope and downslope from your fruit tree swale rows.  If this is the case, your first drawing, which is more of a checkerboard, might have some accuracy.  Unless the checker board pattern is large, cultivating crops with machines would be difficult.  By hand, though, the checkers could be as small as you like.  The smaller they are, the more shelter you a getting from intense direct sun (evaporation), and drying winds. 

If, however, the wind is downslope or upslope then your existing strips of fruit trees would be able to be the windbreaks.

Generally, though, you might be needing to consider how you can compromise between the two, so that a modified checkerboard, one with access roads on the contour above your swales, but strips going downslope to the road as windbreaks/shelter, would probably be very beneficial in a desert system, though the checkboard might be more of an alternation between crops and windbreaks, with bands of fruit trees running across the slope below swales.  If the wind in the area is very intense, the road might have to meander in order to stop it from having a direct path.   
 
Mohamed Ahkim
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Thank you for your answer Roberto. You gave me important information which i should consider further. I dont have really real experience with (dryland) farming but I am totally convinced that is the path for me.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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There is a lot more information, if you are just beginning your permaculture research, so what I wrote is a basic layout for general desert ideas.  I suggest that you invest in a PDM (Permaculture Designer's Manual), written by Bill Mollison, and check out the drylands section.  Beyond that you should watch everything that you can find online about geoff lawton's greening of the desert project.  If you have degraded land with existing trees, or existing remnants of living trees, then you should probably also check outFarmer Managed Natural Regeneration 
 
Mohamed Ahkim
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:There is a lot more information, if you are just beginning your permaculture research, so what I wrote is a basic layout for general desert ideas.  I suggest that you invest in a PDM (Permaculture Designer's Manual), written by Bill Mollison, and check out the drylands section.  Beyond that you should watch everything that you can find online about Geoff Lawton's greening of the desert project.  If you have degraded land with existing trees, or existing remnants of living trees, then you should probably also check outFarmer Managed Natural Regeneration 


I am a few years into permaculture with quite many hours of thinking about it. The book of Bill Mollison is already in my library, it contains so many ideas and facts. About your latest remark: there are some trees (sidr )in the surroundings of the land so copying the trees would be helpful.

Along the journey I will ask more questions God Willing
 
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