[permaculture] Growing Along Highway Margins

Cory Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 26 23:03:45 EDT 2010


Some nice ideas. I would lean toward creating ecosystems as much as possible that blended with whatever is next to the highway. 

One way to handle the fertility issue with building materials might be to have clumps of bamboo surrounded by "guild" type supporting plants - nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators, etc. You need a lot of material for biofuels - bamboo might be more practical and it can be used for many things, not just building. 

I hope they will avoid monocropping, whatever they do. Guild polycrops would be a conversation starter and a great example.  It could even be economically viable if they create the right harvests - maybe even pay for highway repairs or something :-) Imagine that! A government paying its own way through efficient, sustainable use of commons. 

Cory

--- On Fri, 3/26/10, Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net> wrote:

> From: Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Growing Along Highway Margins
> To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Friday, March 26, 2010, 7:17 PM
> Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
> > Cory Brennan wrote:
> >> Prairie grass or rapeseed could work as a biofuel
> possibly. Fertility
> >> problem could be addressed with seasonal cover
> cropping and use of
> >> organic waste streams in the city. Complex prairie
> grass systems may
> >> maintain fertility even with harvesting if done
> right. Some research
> >> is being done on this in the midwest currently. It
> may not be
> >> advanced enough yet for this project but worth
> checking into.
> > 
> > How about a natural Fukuoka type plan for a plot of
> land wherein the 
> > existing seedbank is allowed to grow and compete for
> succession
> > - a public learning garden! interspersed throughout
> the roadside 
> > landscapes, integrated with the water impoundments,
> catch crops (swales 
> > catch runoff to irrigate lowland gardens adjoining (on
> downhill sides of 
> > the swales) allowed to develop unattended, providing
> wildlife habitat 
> > and food - I am thinking of benefits from a mix of
> eleagnus, cedar 
> > and/or juniper, carpets of native ground cover: mint,
> Creeping charlie
> > or ground ivy - the large leafed, prolific, medicinal,
> fragrant, 
> > invasive catch crop ideal for compost piles and
> Hugelkultur
> > (Glechoma hederacea http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glechoma_hederacea), 
> > chickweed, tall sweet clover, Alsike clover and
> miscellaneous other 
> > volunteer wild plants.
> 
> Here is a list of common yard weeds I like a lot that would
> be perfect 
> in a low area below a swale, growing within banks of
> eleagnus and beds 
> of various mints:
> 
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/prostrate-spurge.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/henbit.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/mouse-ear-chickweed.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/white-clover.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/thistle.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/common-chickweed.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/purslane.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/knotweed.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/prostrate-spurge.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/yellow-woodsorrel.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/dandelion.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/common-plantain.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/buckhorn-plantain.jpg
> http://www.hort.iastate.edu/courses/syllabi/hort351l/weeds/ground-ivy.jpg
> 
> >> Instead of landscaping, what about food forests at
> those larger
> >> junctions of land? Food will be exposed to
> exhaust, which is a major
> >> downside but there may be microclimates where
> exposure could be
> >> minimized.
> 
> Lead is no longer in regular gas so there may not be much
> of a problem 
> from exhaust smoke. Weather and pollution-tolerant species
> of fruit
> and nut (hazelnut, hickory). Pumpkins! Watermelons!
> 
> >> Yes, swales, water catchment, etc! Capture the
> energy..
> > 
> > I think it is about laws of thermodynamics. Go for the
> most concentrated
> > accumulation of energy, whether it is light, heat,
> nitrogen as in 
> > manure, water from within a watershed....and recycle
> it through 
> > successive systems of usage and successive cycles of
> reuse and 
> > recycling, eliminating errors in the wastestream.
> > 
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