As part of our carbon project we have successfully planted another 110 trees on the property.
The aim is to improve the local ecosystem and biodiversity while sequestering carbon, what better way than with trees.
Over the past few months I have been "preconditioning" holes. This basically involves digging a small circular area every so often for the chickens to scratch around in. They get worms and grass grubs and in return break up the soil, kill some roots and leave the odd piece of manure. Occasionally we dump the compost bucket there. When it comes time to plant out a large number of trees in a short time, having pre-dug holes speeds things up considerably.
In keeping with the principals of permaculture, varieties were selected for multiple positive attributes as well as their suitability to our climate, which is often windy and dry.
Sacred Bamboo - This was initially ordered under the misconception it was a type of bamboo. It is in fact an erect shrub with white flowers followed by berries. It has been used as a wind break around several keyhole gardens and should provide something for birds and bees.
3 Varieties of Alder - Alders are nitrogen fixers and improve the soil fertility. Most varieties can be coppiced with new trees growing rapidly off the original roots. Being deciduous they will also build soil via their fallen leaves.
Wattle - The acacia family are nitrogen fixers, produce very dense quality firewood and grow quickly. Being evergreen they offer increased wind protection throughout the year.
Maple and Sycamore - Both of the acer genus, these trees should produce a high quality timber also delivering an impressive autumn display.
Black Locust - Another nitrogen fixer, produces ground durable timber and one of the few companion trees for near walnuts.
Rowan (mountain ash) - Colourful foliage and berries for chicken fodder.
Soap nuts - I was excited to be able to get 2 of these young trees. Native to northern India and Asia the shells or casings of the nuts can be used as a highly effective substitute for washing powder.
Other varieties include Mediterranean Ash and Persian Ironwood.