Saturday, January 9, 2010


Bless the flowers and the weeds, my birds and bees.

I used to hate the way the Chinaberry just popped up everywhere, but now I just think of it as a wonderful source of bio-mass. A year ago I think I would be amazed that I would actually be happy to see a Chinaberry coppicing.

I cut it down now and it goes into the beds I am structuring. I layer different sources of bio-mass lasagna-style to build up the bed. I use the Chinberry as part of the greens, and also as mulch on top when needed. Those that have been chopped down seem to coppice so readily that they are an endless supply.

I read that Bill Mollison said that in order to completely destroy a tree you are to use road salt... I assume this means coarse salt... at the cut, and then cover with an old carpet to block out the light. I would need a lot of old carpet! But I will have to make a plan like this, in time, as I settle areas down to Food forest. For now they serve a welcome purpose. Everything that grows rampantly in this rainy season is used like this - if not specifically purposed to be there.

I have found that the Mulberry tree bouces
back very readily too; a real blessing. Such a useful tree. And the long leafy stems make wonderful fish food for my Tilapia. I will probably cut back a number of Moringa too to create coppiced limbs and increase forage for the animals when I get them.

I found sad littl
e sticks of Purslane down near the river and brought them into the Food forest too. Now they are the best looking Purslane I have ever seen! Large leafed and a good 40cm high. They have become forage food to me. I love nibbling on the leaves. It feels so good to reach out and pluck one leaf after another to eat. They are one of nature's richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Perfect to add to salads. I have also read that when thrown into a stew-pot they will thicken the sauce. I have not tried this yet... they don't make it past raw in my kitchen.

With all the recent rains the weeds are rampant in growth. I will have to pull hard in some places, but they are welcome mulch. Even the Khakibos has become a friend to me; added around young plants the strong scent repels predatory insects. Nothing wasted.

Until next time,

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