In both establishing and maintaining a productive forest garden, working on the edge
amongst the sand dunes of St.Ives Bay, I have come to rely heavily on the use of fertiliser trees .
We are particularly favoured in having a number that thrive in these conditions to the advantage of neighbouring trees:
they also provide nutritious fruits and in the case of Hippophae (the sea buckthorns), leaves as well.
They are: Elaeagnus Umbellata (autumn olive); Angustifolia (Russian olive); Multiflora (goumi berry).
Hippophae Rhamnoides (bush sea buckthorn); Salicifolia (tree sea buckthorn).
In the early days of the establishment of the forest garden, Gleditsia, the honey locust was tried unsuccessfully, in these conditions.
In warmer climates the Acacia is continuing to prove successful and I have been particularly inspired by two significant events
with respect to this particular group of trees that will demonstrate the process.
Masanobu Fukuoka in his book The one Straw Revolution converted a mountainside of bare red clay to a fertile orchard
making use of acacias as fertiliser trees.
With the green manure fertilising the topsoil and the roots of the Morrissima acacia improving the soil deep down,
you can do quite well without fertiliser and there is no need to cultivate between the orchard trees.
With tall trees for windbreaks, citrus in the middle, and green manure cover below,
I have found a way to take it easy and let the orchard manage itself.
His book was first published in 1978, three years after I began to garden here on the Towans
(local name for this expanse of sand dunes bordering the sea).
In 2010 after successfully employing acacia trees in fields of maize in Africa
the Director General of The World Agroforestry Centre issued this statement.
Evergreen agriculture shows us a glimpse of the future of more environmentally benign farming
where much of our annual food crop production occurs under a full canopy of trees.