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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tree Crops

I was talking to a friend the other day, and we got on the subject of tree crops. It always seems that trees are the easier crop than annuals. The do not require planting every year, they predominately take care of themselves, once established weeds are not much of an issue, and the yields are often times better.

It would not be difficult for people to use tree crops either. While we typically think of a crop as something that is harvested and stored, it does not have to be that way. There are many people who have a chicken coop where they feed corn or pellets to their chickens. If a mulberry tree was planted in the chicken yard, it would recieve fertilizer from the chicken manure, and would provide huge amounts of food for the chickens with little cost or care. No needing to harvest, no needing to store, and the benefits of the crop would be self evident.

Most of my ideas come from an old book called "Tree Crops" by J. Russell Smith. While it is out of print, it is fortunately available online for free. Click this link to check it out, and download it if you want to.

Tree crops gives a new perspective to thinking about how crops work and what is necessary to have a piece of productive land. While it may take many generations before the general public accepts some of the crops as food (acorn flour for instance), the use of the tree crops with animals could start immediately. This is a perennial agriculture, that would make use of land while helping to prevent eroding soil. It is at least something that should be thought about and discussed.

Thanks for reading.
Live a hands on life

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