[permaculture] Willow hay/bark - leaf hay

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Thu Sep 12 18:40:15 EDT 2002

Ute Bohnsack wrote:
 > I am looking for information on the nutritive value and composition of
 > willow (Salix sp.) leaves and/or bark and/or willow leaf hay
 > as I am feeding increasing amounts of this to my goats at present. They
 > go mad for it so I guess it's quite nutritious, but I'd like to know how

Its great as a biofuel for generating electric power. See:

          develop cover crops to protect cropland soils from erosion
          improve water quality in streams and aquifers using plants
          stabilize streambanks and shorelines to prevent soil erosion
          develop improved plants for wildlife food and cover
          utilize native plants for ecosystem diversity

As for feed, I found this reference:

Dr. Muhammad Dost, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), Gilgit, Pakistan [now with FAO in Iraq]
Lack of quality fodder, especially during winter, is a major limiting factor in improving
livestock production. During winter all stock has to rely on crop residues and fodder,
so many animals are undernourished and weak by the spring. Because of very limited land holdings
(Figure 2), lack of water and extreme weather conditions, fodder crop cultivation is practiced
on small areas. So, traditionally there is a fodder deficit from November to March, when the main
summer fodder crop season (for example maize) is over and the traditional winter fodder,
especially shaftal (Trifolium resupinatum) and lucerne (Medicago sativa), are still dormant
during the freezing temperatures.
"Multipurpose trees (willow [Salix sp.], mulberry [Morus sp.] and Russian olive [Elaeagnus sp.])
are planted on field edges and marginal land - their leaves and bark provide supplementary
fodder in winter. In some areas leaves are dried and stored for winter use."
There is an interesting photo in this page entitled:
Figure 6 – Improved winter-active lucerne cultivar "Sundar" in Aliabad, Hunza]

Is there still a country (region?) called Hunza. Robert Rodale wrote a book
called "The Healthy Hunzas". Legend has it that people from the region often live
well beyond a hundred years and are in remarkable health at that age.
Other interesting photos:
[Figure 8 – Forage oats production during freezing temperatures]
[Figure 9 – Lucerne intercropped with oats]
and especially this one:
[Figure 11 – Lucerne and oats mixture in an apple orchard in Aliabad, Hunza]
- talk about multipurpose living mulch!
... and more:
[Figure 12 – A mixture of oats, lucerne and brassica]
[Figure 15 – Berseem and oats mixture harvested in December in Gilgit]
[Figure 23 – Oats and vetch hay mixture in Gilgit]
Amazing what you can find on the Web, real photos of farming in the legendary land of the
Hunzas (Hunzakut?).

 > it compares to other feeds in terms of dry matter, metabolizable enegry,
 > protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium etc.
 > Any leads are much appreciated.

lfl at intrex.net

More information about the permaculture mailing list