One of the design parameters of a food forest is to integrate more nitrogen fixing bushes and trees around the fruit producing trees, thus increasing yield by always providing free fertilizer to the trees. This article on permaculture states:
"Planting nitrogen-fixing plants in between or even underneath the fruit trees and berry bushes can help replace nitrogen that the plants use up in the soil. Nitrogen-fixing plants have nodules on their roots that are actually large colonies of bacteria. These bacteria use nitrogen gas from the air and transform it into forms that are useful to plants."
[image-1]A side benefit of planting nitrogen fixing plants is that there is an increase in biomass that is created. We can take this biomass and potentially perform pyrolysis "or 'gasification' is a means of extracting energy from biomass and using it environmentally responsibly," states this website about biofuels. It will then form a biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) that is rich for agricultural uses, as well as a clean carbon negative biofuel. I expect that as the years go on, future sustainability clubs can utilize this food forest as a demonstration site for such methods.
I often times only write on Creative Loafing the problems my generation faces, but rest assured I'm also working diligently on the solutions.
The Sustainability Club is an organization I started on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College. Working out of the box ad hoc, I've assembled some great help from the college in the form of student volunteers. I want to thank all of them: Jeff, Titi, Laura, Joshua and others, who have come out to help -- as well as brainstorm -- for the food forest project.
For over a year I've been involved in planning and working on a food forest in Tarpon Springs. The goal of this project has been to develop a self sustaining system that can provide food and fuel for the local community.
With a fantastic benefactor I've been allotted an of acre space and funds to create what has been in my imagination. Using food forest techniques from permaculture, I'm going to attempt to create a space that, when fully, mature will provide tens of thousands of pounds of fruit and vegetables. This will be an experiment and may have failures but I've had great mentoring from two permaculturists in the area. Jim Kovaleski and Robert Segundo have both been giving me ideas and allotting time out of their busy schedules to help me in this undertaking.