Photo of author Sheryl Davis on the permaculture project site with tree chipper.
Author Sheryl operated the chipper (background)

Feeling chipper? Our trees at the latest Symbiosis permaculture project are!

We cleared branches on a fence line around this small scale organic farm to make way for a new fence. The nutrient dense piles of brush were converted into mulch with this wood chipper. In terms of sustainability, it is much better to chip brush when you can, instead of burning it. That way, the carbon goes back into the ground along with the nutrient, instead of being released into the air.

Peaches, plums, pears, Asian pears, apples, pluots (plum/apricot), pomegranates, figs, walnuts, pecans, basically whatever will grow well in Central Texas. Winter is the best time to plant trees here; the dormant state they are in helps prevent transplant shock. Most of them are now tucked in the ground on top of a berm (a long mound of soil on contour with a slope) downhill of a swale (a long ditch on contour with a slope) with drip irrigation and a nice 4 x 4-foot skirt of weed-blocker cloth and a top dressing of mulch.

Workers take tree saplings off the trailer for installation at the permaculture site.
New trees arriving

Not only does mulch help retain water provided by our drip irrigation system, insulate trees from cold weather, and deter competitive weed growth, it also releases nutrients as it breaks down and promotes the growth of mycorrhiza (fungus) that form a symbiotic relationship with the roots of the host plant. Mulch maker mulch maker make me some mulch!

Indigenous tools found at the project site are 3,000-5,000 years old
Indigenous tools found at the project site are 3,000-5,000 years old; used for scraping skins of large mammals.

I found these two indigenous flint tools while I was digging holes for fruit trees. I’ve learned that they are about 3000 to 5000 years old and were probably used to butcher large animals like deer and bison. We are near the Colorado River, so they are probably Comanche. I found two others on this site too!

#plantatree #kidinakilt #sustainable #womenatwork #permaculture


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