[permaculture] food forest shade and soil questions

Rain Tenaqiya raincascadia at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 13 14:58:52 EDT 2009

Since you are in Spain, I can tell you that what Larry said about shade is absolutely true.  Most plants will actually produce more in partial shade (like that from black locust or Albizia trees) because too much sun causes most plants to shut down.  According to what I've read, carob, figs, and even grapes and pomegranates can produce very well in the shade.
However, Larry's soil and water situation is probably very different from yours.  He lives close to the ocean and I'm amazed at how little irrigation the central coast people can get away with.  The heavy clay soil also helps, despite the bias against it from most gardeners.  Nutritionally, coastal California soils can be very poor.  You should have at least one soil test done before you plant, as I am learning now.  Organic matter can solve most problems, but it takes forever to work its way into the soil in our climate.  It would be a good idea to mix some compost into the soil where you plant trees, as long as the drainage isn't poor.  
A lot of your questions are hard to answer without knowing how much labor and money you have available.  Slow and steady techniques work, but they take time.  You might want faster results, at least for the zones closer to your house.
Good luck,


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