[permaculture] Food forest project at Pine Ridge -assistance

Cory Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 26 08:59:53 EST 2012


This is a wonderful selection! We could probably use most of these. We planted a number of these last year in our 600 tree planting, and I am looking forward to seeing how they did in that harsh climate. I need to research some of the below that i haven't worked with re: toxicity to livestock and invasiveness. I know the Eleangus have been a problem with invasiveness in some plains areas. Black Locust is highly toxic to horses, and would probably spread here, so even though it is an incredible permaculture plant and would have many uses, I am hesitant to put it into the systems - we have substituted honey locust which is fodder and which livestock love.  I'm working with the Extension Service and others to ensure I don't bring in anything invasive or that would be a problem for horses, cows or buffalo. 

A general question for the list: I've been researching honey locust and have found contrary information regarding its nitrogen fixing abilities and how fast it rots. I love black locust for building because it rots so slowly. Some say honey locust rots slowly too - not as slowly as black locust. So, how slowly does it rot? We love the fact that we could coppice or pollard to get fence posts, for instance, and the tree grows back. There is some scientific evidence that honey locust fixes nitrogen even though it doesn't have the nodules. I haven't completed the research cycle yet, and wondering what anybody else has found out about this wonderful tree?  

Are you using chokecherry at all? Buffaloberry, serviceberry, and currant are natives that some Lakota already eat, so those would be great. We would be interested in nut trees as well, are still researching what might do best here.  

The winds can be harsh and drying, and sometimes it goes for weeks without rain in the dry season, starting mid to late summer and going into winter. It can freeze in June and August, though rare (May and Sept freezes are more common), and last year, hail the size of golf balls fell in July on parts of the rez (we had smaller hail that still cut big holes in leaves). 

What zone are you working in? Do you have a paulownia that will survive in Zone 4? The ones we researched all said Zone 5, and we are far enough into Zone 4 that we hesitate, but are very interested in this tree as a lumber crop in silvoculture.  I worked with this tree in Los Angeles and what an awesome canopy tree for a food forest!  Don't know how it does in a temperate climate tho, especially a harsh one. 

The Flathead reservation looks beautiful, at least in pictures. Wow, actual forests. :-)) 

We know that honey locust, cottonwood and cedar do great in the climate. Eleangus does too which is why it's invasive.  Cottonwood is a sacred tree used in Sundance and serves so many functions well, so that is an important one for the Lakota. I will interview those involved to see which of the below they would have most interest in, and can I get back to you once I do that? 

I would love to exchange notes on projects as I"m sure there are similarities. It is a big project, and I'm a bit nervous about being able to pull it off, but the need is great and interest and reach is really there, so I want to try. I appreciate your help so much!  

Best, Koreen

 From: Michael Pilarski <friendsofthetrees at yahoo.com>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 4:12 AM
Subject: [permaculture] Food forest project at Pine Ridge -assistance
Hi Koreen,

big projects you got going. wishing you the best.

I am starting to work on Flathead reservation this year,  I can contribute trees to plant. 

what would you like from the following?

Michael Pilarski



Autumn Olive/ Elaeagnus umbellata


Arctic Beauty Kiwi/ Actinidia kolomikta


Buffaloberry/ Shepherdia canadensis


Golden currant/ Ribes aureum


Goumi/ Elaeagnus multiflora


Jostaberry/ Ribes x Nidigrolaria


Riverbank grape/ Vitus riparia


Sea-Buckthorne/ Hippophae rhamnoides


Black Haw/ Viburnum prunifolium


Rugosa Rose/ Rosa rugosa


Blue Elderberry/ Sambucus cerulea


Nanking Cherry/ Prunus tomentosa


Aronia Berry/ Aronia melanocarpa


Cornelian Cherry Dogwood/ Cornus mas


Oregon Grape (tall)/ Mahonia aquifolium


American Cranberry Bush/ Viburnum trilobum


Blackberry/ Triple crown thornless blackberry


Hardy Kiwi (must have one male for up to 7 females)
Actinidia ananasnaja


Serviceberry/ Amelanchier alnifolia


Raspberries, Autumn Britt, Fall-bearing






Austrian Pine/ Pinus nigra


Black Cherry/ Prunus serotina


Black Locust/ Robinea pseudoacacia


Black Walnut/ Juglans nigra


Bounty Plum/ Prunus nigra 'bounty'


Empress Tree/ Paulownia tomentosa


Filbert/ Corylus cornuta


Heartnut/ Juglans ailantifolia


Korean Pine/ Pinus koraiensis


Limber Pine/ Pinus flexilis


Mandshurian apricot/ Prunus armeniaca 'Mandshurica'


Mountain Mahogany/ Cercocarpus montanus


Rocky Mountain Juniper/ Juniperus scopulorum


Russian White Mulberry/ Morus alba tatarica


Thornless Honey Locust/ Gleditsia triacanthos 'inermis'


Maidenhair Tree/ Ginko biloba


Littleleaf Linden/ Tilia cordata


Chinese Chestnut/ Castanea mollisima


Burrenglish Oak/ Quercus macrocarpa x robur

--- On Tue, 1/24/12, Cory Brennan <cory8570 at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Cory Brennan <cory8570 at yahoo.com>
Subject: [permaculture] Food forest project at Pine Ridge - need assistance
To: "cory at permacultureguild.us" <cory at permacultureguild.us>
Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 9:25 PM

Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota is one of the major
food deserts in the US. Some people routinely drive 2 hours to the nearest town
that has a grocery store – it costs them $50 in gas to buy groceries. Most
people are at least one hour from the nearest store with any kind of fresh
vegetables or fruits.  If they can’t
afford to buy groceries, they get “commodities” which are heavily processed
foods like macaroni and cheese, Spam, etc. A high percentage of children on the
rez have diabetes and over 60% of adults have diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions.  Heart conditions, high blood pressure, etc
are the norm. Infant mortality and life span rates are similar to 2/3 world
countries. There is almost no organic food available on or near the rez.  There are a number of organizations that are
trying to change that and we’d like to support them. 

We would like to plant several food forests at Pine Ridge
reservation in South Dakota this spring (May), and if this project speaks to you
and you are available, we could use your help, starting now, or any time
through early June, to pull this off!  We
have been facilitating permaculture projects on the reservation since 2009 with
our assistance, and have generated enough interest that a number of people are
interested in food forests as a way to grow food sustainably on the rez . There
is precedent with the traditional Lakota diet including a variety of native
fruits, nuts and herbs gathered from riparian areas and other protected areas.  

There is a strong sustainability movement happening in parts
of the rez and we would like to coordinate with that wonderful energy and put
some food systems on the rez that are geared toward the needs of the
tribe.   We have been observing and
surveying people, living on the land off and on, and getting to know it for
three years now and we feel we have observed and interacted enough to move
forward with something that will be genuinely beneficial.  We are conscious of not only historical use
of plants by the Lakota people but current ways of living, and are trying to
integrate the design into real needs, resources and a cultural context.   

We are partnering with three organizations that are working
on food security for the rez and are respected in their area.  This project will have impact not only on
this reservation but many others – as people from many different tribes visit
this reservation and will see these systems.  

This is an ambitious project (the first phase of five
forests planted in three weeks – soils prepared, water systems being put in, windbreak
trees planted, first phase of food plantings done, etc)  but we can pull it off with your help.  We have an opportunity to put in permaculture
food systems with five different organizations on Pine Ridge reservation – all will
be seen by and shared with a variety of people, in different areas of the
reservation.  We want to help create food
security for Pine Ridge and this is a good step in that direction!  We are looking for experienced
permaculturists, especially those experienced in growing food in similar climates
(though few things are quite like the Northern prairies for harshness ), in capturing
water in similar climates/soils (clay silt prairie drylands),  in organizing projects, and fund
raisers.  We can also use strong people
with any level of experience to help with the planting.

The planting will be done in May, and we will be staging on the
sites starting either April 19 or April 25, depending on a variety of factors.
We will need volunteers during this time period (about 4-6 weeks) to help with
planting, irrigation, swales, etc. Soil building has been occurring in most
cases already and people will be preparing some aspects of the site (or have
already done so) before we arrive. 

This is strictly a volunteer project – you will need to pay
your own way if you intend to come there in May and help plant. We can provide
lodging and hopefully at least some of the food but the first priority for pay,
if there is any, will be to the Lakota. You can stay for 4-5 days, or the whole project.

Last year, we dug swales and planted 600 wind break trees on
one site and we have started installation of a kitchen garden and food forest
on that site. 

What we need right now is help coordinating the planning
portion of these projects: 

a.       Lining up and coordinating arrival of volunteers
b.      Coordinating with the project heads at Pine
c.       Designing the sites (I have visited these sites,
done some analysis, and we can start on pre-design work now)
d.      Doing more thorough research on appropriate plants
for the area (I’ve done a fair amount of this, researching invasives, plants
toxic  to horses, cows, buffalo, some
native edibles and medicinals, etc)
e.      Getting donations of plants from a variety of
sources (I have a partial list of places that may donate)
f.        Raising funds for irrigation, fuel, etc. 

If you want more info, or would like to get involved, please
contact Koreen at:  cory at permacultureguild.us

We do have a bit of a “get to know you” process, so please
bear with us on that. 

We would really appreciate your support, participation,
experience, energy, for this project!

Mitakuye Oyasin

Ken Benway
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