[permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [NAFEX] re: shade for blackberries]

Scott Vlaun scott at moosepondarts.com
Wed Oct 23 00:37:40 EDT 2002

In the interview I did with Bill Mollison last year, he talked about 
the relationship between African Box Thorn  (Lycium ferrocissimum) and 
chickens as well as a Coprosma.  He never mentioned Caragana though, 
unless something got confused in the transcription. As you can imagine 
it was a bit of a challenge.  I've pasted the passage below. The 
complete interview is at 

Regards to all,

Scott Vlaun

P.S, Just returned from Bioneers Conference and heard and great 
presentation from Ali Shariff. He is doing wonderful Pc stuff in 
Brazil. www.permacultura.org.br/ipec if you can read portuguese.

  I wondered . . . these chickens aren't eating one handful of wheat, 
that's not going to do it. She had them running in amongst two plants: 
one was called Coprosma, it's a New Zealand shiny leaf creeping plant 
immune to sea winds and things, and it has crop after crop of berries 
during the year; it's always got green berries or ripe berries or new 
berries or something. Each berry has two seeds that you could easily 
mistake for two grains of wheat. So it's a continual wheat producer as 
far as chickens are concerned; they think it's wheat and they eat it. 
So even one Coprosma bush was feeding dozens more chickens than my 
grandmother. And the other plant she had planted because of the sea 
winds was in the Solanum family. It's got huge thorns. It's called 
African Box Thorn. It's a Lycium. It's a frightfully thorny thing. But 
in cool climates it doesn't spread; you put it in and there it grows; 
it grows to about 15 feet across and 15 feet high. It's a dome, and it 
stops there forever. We've had hedges of it for more than 200 years in 
northern Tasmania. It always has flowers, green berries, and ripe 
berries and the chickens love it. It's in the Solanacae so there's like 
millions of little tomatoes falling all the time. When a chook 
(chicken) is going to lay eggs and rear chicks she walks in underneath 
the box thorns, makes a nest, lays her eggs and sits under the box 
thorns because nothing, no hawks, no dogs, nothing can get her in 
there. Then come the chicks and they don't leave that shelter because 
the berries are the perfect size for little chickens. They eat them 
until they're quite well fledged, and out they come in the open air and 
then hawks get one or two of them. If they're in trouble, they run into 
the box thorns, so it's ideal food and shelter.

So, she had these two plants and none other, and yet, they fed 85 
chickens within 50 yards of her chicken house, so I could say you 
didn't have to buy wheat to grow chickens. And her eggs were very good 
eggs. I later discovered there's some New Zealanders who grew their 
chickens on three species of Coprosma. I never saw the other species. 
That's all they ever feed them.

On Tuesday, October 22, 2002, at 07:09 PM, Robert Waldrop wrote:

> Is caragena the same as the Siberian pea tree?
> Robert Waldrop, OKc
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kelly Finigan <kfinigan at telus.net>
>> I haven't seen anyone do this, but I think Mollison has a sketch with
>> caragana and chicken runs. I HAVE heard of Russians eating the beans,
> either
>> as vegetable or ground as flour. I have eaten some of the beans and
> found a
>> range of flavours - from nice to quite bitter. Maybe a potential to
> select
>> good tasting varieties and breed for perennial protein?
>> The bushes (normally 10 to 30 feet tall) can also be coppiced and
> then form
>> very thick hedges good for keeping people (or animals) in/out.
>> ciao,
>> Kelly
>> Kelly Finigan, M.Sc. P.Eng., Permaculture Designer
>> Essential Elements Inc.
>> 744 - 4 Street NW       Calgary, Alberta, Canada         T2N 1P2
>> 1-403-283-7270           fax 283-9783     kfinigan at telus.net
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lfl at intrex.net>
>> To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2002 1:29 AM
>> Subject: [permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [NAFEX] re: shade for blackberries]
>> _______________________________________________
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