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I've been thinking a lot about permaculture lately. [link]
By planting fruit trees according to flowering date rather than by type of fruit and by separating fruits alternating the cultivars and nitrogen fixers/releasers as well as keeping bees, fertilizers and pesticides become unnecessary.
weeds with edible shrubs and berries next to the trees they prefer until all available light is utilized makes for no weeding once the eco system becomes
About the only thing the system won't do is guarantee optimum watering in anything but an ideal location.
We could fix that.
Surrounding the trunk of each tree in the orchard is an adjustable screw-pad halo supporting the weight of curved polymer louvers or panels widening outwards and upwards to form a bowl shape beneath the canopy which is winched to the underside of the branches before spring when the tree has no foliage.
These louvers would serve several purposes.
-If rigid enough the triangular shape of each panel tapering towards the trunk would support the weight of extra fruit on each lower branch.
-If the inner surface of each panel was reflective and the undersides blackened then any light passing the foliage would be redirected upwards creating a greenhouse effect.
The surface area of each panel would cause water to condense each morning over and above the amount which would already condense on each leaf. The layering effect closer to the trunk would increase surface area while minimising evaporation. This daily condensation would be stored in a tree well beneath the trunk-halo making for a self-watering orchard. Directing where on the trunk water is released would water specific neighbouring plants with minimal evaporative loss.
Lastly, the first frost of late fall could trigger the release of these panels from their supporting halo and any left-over stored water. This would create a circular barrier keeping the roots of the tree warm longer into the year, and also earlier the next spring thereby artificially lengthening the growing season.
The weight of the first rains of the next spring would winch the panels back into position automatically resulting in a self-fertilizing, self- pollinating, self-pesticiding 'and' self-watering little micro-Eden which would last as long as the panels and cables do.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 12 2015]
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||I'll probably have to go over it a few times to grok; meanwhile have a tasty pastry for the invoked image of trees growing out of a mirror-surface ground.
||I always feel a bit sad when I see a tree caught by the position of a street light, trees have to sleep too. In saying that, I don't think evolution spent any of its time on trees dealing with highly reflective surfaces from underneath.
||What if your hippie arborists look askance at anything made of "polymer"? Can they be made of hemp, or patchoulli? Maybe large, light rocks?
||Actually jokes aside, lithic mulch under the tree would accomplish much the same purpose. Small rocks would work for that. And be more UV durable.
||Ooh, I've never heard of lithic mulch before. Good stuff.
||I suppose that an oiled cloth could work as well for water collection but it will be the rigidity of panels which will support the extra fruit load and thaw the roots earlier in each spring.
Used in conjunction with lithic mulch, much more of the water could be used for other crops or even as a supplemental potable water supply.
||The movement of the branches in any breeze could manually power aerators keeping the water in each tree-well fresh and mosquito larvae free.
||With the extra shade cast it might be possible to reclaim desert land and stop erosion one row of trees at a time.