[permaculture] Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics

Cory Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 24 07:29:15 EDT 2012

Casaurina is terribly invasive here. It drowns out everything else, sucks up the water in the everglades, and nothing else grows in Casaurina stands. I mean literally, nothing. Not one weed. The needles and how close the pines grow doesn't allow anything else to grow. This is why I'm careful with what I bring into this system. 

We use moringa liberally. I plant many moringa wherever I go. It is a very strong tree for this area, but it is not nitrogen fixing. It is a dynamic accumulator though. I haven't been able to bring myself to chop it for biomass, or use it for that because it has so many other incredible uses. But it does grow fast, from cuttings and seed both, so it is really a viable source for biomass. It also doesn't get that big, so is perfect in many ways. This tree really is a miracle tree on many fronts. It is my favorite permaculture tree here. It does freeze back, but comes right back and gets 20 feet tall or taller in one season. An amazing life giving tree!!!

Tamarind grows here in certain neighborhoods, it will freeze out in others. Same with Ice Cream Bean. We literally have zone changes from block to block because of the marine influence and the jet stream which reaches all the way down Florida sometimes. Carob likes it more dry than here - Mediterranean is perfect. But I want to try to grow some anyway, because I love it. Tipi Tipu gets too big for most backyards here, but could be used for chop and drop. A couple of people are using it here. 

I've used some of the Zone 4 plants you've mentioned. Again, I'm planting on an indian reservation and will not bring in anything that might alter their ecosystem, out of aggressiveness. It is just not my call to do that on someone else's soveriegn land. I'll check out everything you mentioned - I'm not familiar with a few of them. 

Koreen Brennan


 From: Neil Bertrando <neilbertrando at gmail.com>
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 12:19 AM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics
I forgot about this one which is also a list topper with many functions

Moringa oleifera and other Moringa sp.  not legumes but fast carbon
pathways and high nutrition value

an permaculture article on ecologcal applications of moringa and mulberry
with sites in florida mentioned


On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM, Neil Bertrando <neilbertrando at gmail.com>wrote:

> If I were to put in sub-tropical to tropical long term canopy tree
> legumes, these would be at the top of my list:
> carob, tamarind, ice cream bean, tipuana tipu.  mainly because I like to
> eat the first three and would like to get experience with the fourth after
> hearing about it.
> I'm surprised it gets so cold in Florida, what is your location?  my
> understanding was that zone 9 was down to 20 F?  microclimate
> possibilities?  perhaps you can get some good varieties from NAFEX
> http://www.nafex.org/ or the rare fruit tree associations.
> http://www.crfg.org/ florida rare fruit http://www.rarefruit.org/
> I love the work Julia Morton did in Fruits of the Warm Climates.  I'm
> guessing there is lots more out there now, but haven't been researching
> tropics in a while.
> Carob, Ceratonia siliqua:
> http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/carob.html
> tamarind, tamarindus indica
> http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tamarind.html
> Ice Cream Bean, Inga edulis
> http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/inga_edulis.html
> tipuana tipu
> http://www.public.asu.edu/~camartin/plants/Plant%20html%20files/tipuanatipu.html
> Another FAO doc.
> http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/T0632E/T0632E02.htm
> suggests: prosopis sp as well.
> Black Locust??? native to Southeast N. America.
> casaurina pines? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casuarina  Awesome
> non-rotting building material too.
> more for understory? baptisia, lespedeza, ceanothus, tephrosia, senna,
> desmodium, perennial peanut, crotolaria, guessing there's many more
> have used most of the species noted in the FAO doc you shared and liked
> them in Hawai'i.  never had an issue with spreading.  if you like, cut them
> before seed formation.
> have used cassia trees not sure on the species, birds absolutely loved
> them so even without N-fixing nodules, the import to the system was
> substantial.
> other links to check out with some species lists
> http://science.jrank.org/pages/3895/Legumes-Native-legumes-North-America.html
> http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factpub/factsh.htm
> i've some palownia planted in zone 5-6. no experience with zone 4.  there
> i would definitely use Robinia, Elaeagnus, Gleditsia, and consider Sophora,
> alnus, gymnocladus, maackia, and cladrastis  as overstory, many mid-
> understory, shepherdia, caragana, elaeagnus, baptisia, Hippophae, cercis,
> alnus, maybe amorpha canescens, all dependent on water availability and
> soil type etc....
> I might even go with rhamnus although I know people are sensitive about
> buckthorn in the midwest.
> perhaps a useful source is oikos tree crops
> http://www.oikostreecrops.com/store/home.asp
> and lawyer seed and plant nursery http://www.lawyernursery.com/  worth
> getting the seed list/catalog many more species than bare roots
> best of luck
> hope this helps,
> Neil
> On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 8:17 PM, venaurafarm <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>wrote:
>> On 10/18/2012 8:38 PM, John D'hondt wrote:
>> > Another new bad thing is an explosion of a new species, the New Zealand
>> > flatworm, (Arthurdendyus triangulatus) that is known to reduce earthworm
>> > populations below detectable levels. The situation is dire. We even
>> noticed
>> > 36 immature worms eating a big slug (Arion sp.) and one half grown worm
>> > holding a life Tipula fly (big!) on the ground and preventing this from
>> > talking off.
>> > Interesting times.
>> I would say that you have the making of a great new nature video, an
>> action packed thriller...to say the least.
>> ......birds eating most of the worms in raised beds causing them to sink
>> and become more compacted.....hawks eating the birds doing this
>> then flatworms moving in and decimating earthworm populations all over
>> again....   what a scenario...document this in a video and sell the dvd
>> for $25 each - upload trailer to youtube, let it go viral, make lots of
>> money, buy villa on the cote d'azur, retire kick back and relax eat
>> truffle quiche .............
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