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imagine if we planted massive food forests  RSS feed

 
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Saw this article and got me thinking .   Imagine if many of these trees were planted as food forest

offgridworld.com
52 BILLION TREES Planted in the USA Annually?
Eric
2-3 minutes

We could plant 52 BILLION TREES ANNUALLY! If America wanted to, we could plant this many trees and more. Watch the video below and see what can be done if we just DID IT. We could plant entire forests and recreate entire ecosystems.

If we did this here in the USA we could plant 132 million trees in 24 hours. 14 shifts of 12 hours over 7 days could plant 924 million trees!

That’s nearly 1 BILLION TREES!!!

1.5 million people planted 66 million. 3 million people (UNDER 1% of the USA population) working 2 shifts per day could plant nearly 1 BILLION trees in a week! 1 BILLION!!!

Just 1% of the USA working together, we could plant 52 BILLION trees annually! This with just 3 million volunteers. 3 million people is less than 1 percent of the US population.

That’s AMAZING!

Watch the video below.

But the sad news is Americans probably won’t do it. They won’t do it because MONEY! They want to be paid for their time rather than volunteer for a good cause. Oh and they’ll claim it’s too expensive to do, cost prohibitive, and they’ll figure out a way to blame some group or finances (despite being the richest nation in the world). All because there’s no profit in it. There’s no monetary reward and so it never gets done. Americans won’t volunteer and will twist it and say something like “I can’t afford to work for free”.

That’s just the way it goes.

Estimates say 3.5 billion to 7 billion trees are cut down each year here in the USA. SOURCE: Google

Approximately 15 billion trees are cut down each year annually throughout the world.

Yet barely a fraction of those trees are replanted. Reforestation is not a priority due to costs.

India has proven that not only could we replant all 7 billion trees in the USA. Lets call it 10 billion just to round it to an easy number. We could plant more than 5 times the number of trees we cut down. Meaning it’s POSSIBLE to be sustainable.

Repairing the earth and reducing carbon level at the same time thereby helping reverse climate change is a good thing and we should do it.

We should follow India’s lead on this and create a program that does it like this here in the USA.

PLANT SOME TREES ALREADY!

***
 
pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Hi Steve.

I agree, to some degree, but I think that you are stressing quantity, where quality is an equal, if not more important factor.

What is it that is said about digging a $200 hole for a $20 tree? Or am I messing that up?

Yes, we should definitely grow forests. Some, I think, could serve specific purposes. I have outlined one idea in another thread.

https://permies.com/t/75471/Geoengineering-Growing-Urban-Rainforests

But I think it is way more important to make sure that we are ensuring that most of the trees we plant survive, and do what we intend them to in the environment.

What would that much wild food do to the systems already in place? Whose land? How is it to be used thereafter? Can landowners run livestock? Can landowners choose their preferred tree species?

I like the general sentiment, though. I don't think it's that straightforward, but it's the right idea.

And I think it might be a more permacultural approach to suggest that we should plant massive soil reactor systems that include lots of food forest and pasture and field crop alleys for maximum edge habitat, land texturing, sediment trapping, water infiltration, and lots of livestock interactions, with a zoned design to include abundance for wild animals too.

Because, while I love the idea of food forests, they are just one tool. I mean, "imagine if we constructed massive on-contour swales everywhere" is also arguably a great idea. What could be wrong about increasing water infiltration and sediment trapping across the whole of everywhere?

But these ideas already lack scope to some people. So what about, "imagine if a community garden redesigned itself to become an urban food-forest, contribute to the pot at a local soup kitchen, and offer workshops and tours to spread permaculture to the masses?"

-CK
 
steve pailet II
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thinking permaculture food forest you are commenting on quality.. and I did say a billion.. think we can seek in some quality along the way
 
gardener
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It is possible.  It is also not likely to happen for a number of reasons... but I won't dwell on the social issues of my southern neighbors.

It is also possible to extract timber at a profit without destroying the forest so that the forest regenerates on it's own.  But this is also not likely to happen due to some of those same social issues I'm not mentioning, and besides, you are not talking about trying to recreate natural forests.

It is possible the create VAST permacultural food forests; but these are not natural systems-they only mimic nature to the best of our abilities, and it would be better, the way I see it, to consider enhancing the landscape and the existing ecosystems to encourage natural regeneration.  I'm not saying that food forests don't have merit toward natural system enhancement, but food forests that are so vast that they contain billions of trees are not, in my thinking, really necessary to feed the U.S.A..  It would be very worthwhile to consider food forest belts in the Zone 1, 2 or 3 around and within each city, town, or village, and that would have a greater impact then spreading out human edible species into the remote hinterlands where most forestry takes place.  Many millions could be planted to this end and not ever be far from the populations it is feeding.  It would be far more beneficial, in my opinion, to focus on feeding people where they are, and regenerating nature as much as possible where it existed before the logging industry got involved with it.  Not that that is what you are saying.  You simply wrote that such and such numbers are cut and so and so many could be planted but did not specify where.

Don't get me wrong in my comments about this idea, I think planting trees is a great idea, just as Chris said, and it should be considered for the great benefits that trees provide; I just think that if we want to plant that many trees in a place like the U.S.A, then we should consider the food forest element to be something that is sure to benefit the people, and the rest of the areas to be reforested should be planted in native forest species with the aim of natural regeneration to feed deeper bio-geographical enhancements then humans generally need.

As Chris alluded to in his swale idea....  What if as many volunteers in the USA spent that many hours building keylines, swales, ponds, creek rehab, fish enhancement, pollution filters, and aquacultures?  How would the rainfall patterns change with that much water being held and cleaned and nutritionally enhanced to produce wetland systems?

How would the game change if we adopted beavers as our pet of choice and chose to live in fishing and wild rice growing villages on stilt houses?  There are thousands of fantasy realms that could be created for our own personal permaculatural utopia.

If your imagination can run wild on the pallet of America... then dream it into action.  Go permie go !!!    

 
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I agree with the basic idea. There are hundreds of reasons why it's not happening already. These special men don't seem to care about those reasons and do it anyway, humbly, stubbornly, continuously. Short upliftng clips.

 
Roberto pokachinni
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Those are a couple of great videos, Hugo.  Thanks for posting them.
 
pollinator
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I'd like to point out that we have to think about where trees are planted, and what they are.

I live in an urban area with small, less than quarter acre lots with fairly large houses on them. There is not much space to grow food on these lots as it is. It is not made better by the fact that most people plant very large trees where they shade their properties and neighboring properties. Houses can be cooled by a shade tree, but houses (and wires, sidewalks, and sewers) are damaged by large trees. Fruit trees placed where falling fruit will end up in the roadway are less useful than they could be.

These large trees were are often the wrong species for their locations; for instance, poplars, cottonwoods, and silver maples are messy and drop large branches without warning. Siberian elms grow quickly, but also die quickly, leaving home-owners with an expensive problem. Due to the close proximity of buildings and utility wires, removing dead or hazardous trees is expensive. Trees near roads and utility lines are hacked up by maintenance crews, making them grow in less than desirable ways and shortening their lifespans.

In my area, dwarf fruit trees and vines strategically placed to block views and cool houses would make a lot more sense than planting larger shade or fruit trees. Also, in my area nut trees do not thrive, and fruit trees don't yield in many years; more productive annual or perennial plants are precluded by the shade of less useful trees.

Context is everything.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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All good points, Gilbert. 

I don't want to take away from the original post in saying that some second thought is in order.  The original post has in it an element (or perhaps several elements) that should not be overlooked.  There is a real need to plant a lot of trees; there is no question in my mind that this is true. 

There is the real possibility that those trees can, indeed, be planted and there are concrete examples of people doing so in other countries; so why not the U.S.?

I too have had dreams, fantasies, whatever... of food forests everywhere on earth to attain some kind of new 'Golden Age' where people can graze at will on the abundance of nature, and I think that this goal is noble, but then some other version of reality sinks in.  I just think, as I delve into the deeper ecological thinking that I must in my own permacultural brain, like Chris with his ideas that

suggest that we should plant massive soil reactor systems that include lots of food forest and pasture and field crop alleys for maximum edge habitat, land texturing, sediment trapping, water infiltration, and lots of livestock interactions, with a zoned design to include abundance for wild animals too. 

or Gilbert, with his,

dwarf fruit trees and vines strategically placed to block views and cool houses"

that

make a lot more sense than planting larger shade or fruit trees. 

... that these show that context and purpose trump the original idea, or expand on it into the landscapes themselves that give these plantings a greater meaning or a more pronounced actualization of their potential towards not only human needs, but the needs of the landscapes, and the greater ecological communities.
 
gardener
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There currently are many public food forests in the United States. The number is growing. Seattle perhaps has the most famous one of them all. There already are threads on this on permies.com.   I think the point should be for city leaders to think of this as a valuable park, and allow poor and other people to harvest from them and be able to enter nature near where they live. Most of the United States is naturally forested or has tall grass prairies.  These are great places to grow food, herbs, vegetables, and fungi. People could take small scions from these trees and graft them onto their own baby trees in their yard when they find a variety they really like.  I like team sports, but that is not the only reason for a park.  Imagine several food forests around most metro areas in most modern urban industrial countries, and people taking their children out to them as recreation. Then when the kids grow up, they can plant that stuff that they really liked in their own yard.  People can have conversations about what they'd like to grow in their yards. It is already happening, but we need to get the word out and tell our local government leaders. It would be great! I have already started planting fruit trees in public parks.  If we work together, we can solve a lot of these problems.
John S
PDX OR
 
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It is also possible to extract timber at a profit without destroying the forest so that the forest regenerates on it's own.  But this is also not likely to happen due to some of those same social issues I'm not mentioning



Back around 15 years ago "the state of Alaska" came out with a genius idea of bringing in an outside contractor (who probably originated the idea and laced the palm of someone or multiple someones) and clear cut the Matanuska and Susitna valleys (an area of maybe 4000 square miles).  The argument was that it would bring income into the state and would be more efficient than the current method (small, local saw mills logging a few acres at a time).  The massive public outcry (no one wants the forest they live in to become a massive clearcut) forced them to initiate a study to prove the big business solution was better.  The outcome of the study was that much of the area was low quality timber.  The high quality areas were already being logged very efficiently, by small local businesses (keeping the money in the local community) in small patches at a time so the forest reseeded itself quickly, providing a patchwork of forest at different levels of maturity, providing maximum benefit for wildlife and the local ecosystem.  The big business pushers pulled in their horns and quietly left. 

If, after an area was logged, strawberries, arctic kiwi, Apios americana or other useful non-native plants were introduced it might benefit the ecosystem.  Of course there is the possibility of introducing something bad, but that could easily happen anyway, since people plant all kinds of things around their houses.  People are planting things all over, very few become a problem. 
 
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Gilbert, in my experience, fruit rolls into the street when the residents are too busy or preoccupied to pick it.  When that happens I have offered to pick the fruit for them and it seems to be a win-win.  I get a fun a memorable fruit picking adventure and free food, and they get a free yard/streetside clean up. 
-Mike


 
John Saltveit
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There are organizations in many cities that organize this. They map the fruit trees, which usually precede the owner, but also outlast the owner. Many landowners are indifferent to the fruit.  The member of the organization takes care of the fruit tree, gives some to charity, and gets to keep the rest.  Portland Fruit tree project is one that we have in my town, but they exist in many others. Apparently, some people like Mike do it on their own. More power to ya!
john S
PDX OR
 
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I was always impressed by the American story of Johhny Appleseed.  It might be worth promoting, perhaps with a modern twist.
 
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Hugo Morvan wrote:These special men don't seem to care about those reasons and do it anyway, humbly, stubbornly, continuously.



It's their drive and conviction. That was the most inspiring part of all this for me.
 
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