How to turn pasture back into tropical rainforest

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by crowsandcats, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. crowsandcats

    crowsandcats New Member

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    Planning a project near Moyobamba, Peru. Elevation 900m.

    Most of the properties are failing cow pastures in clearcuts with pretty tough tropical grasses forming a complete groundcover.

    How would you go about replacing the grass with food forest/ rainforest without grass getting in the way?

    Specifically, what earthworks or tractor implement(s) should be applied?

    I assume this needs to immediately be followed up by mass plantings of cover crop seeds, groundcover starts, shrubs and tree saplings.
     
  2. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    You actually have two methods that will work quite well. The first one is "do nothing and let nature do the work", this will take the earth mother as few as 10 years to get the land going through the layers of succession but it will require extreme control of human urges to improve the land.
    The second method would be to plant trees, lots of trees, you mention that there is a grass cover crop currently in place so planting trees will give the fastest, biggest bang for your buck (whether it be money or time and energy). The best way to plant a food forest is to start with the over story trees and work your way down to the ground level plants. Many people try to start with the low growing plants but then they end up putting too much shade on those first planted short plants and they die, thus requiring a replanting so the plants will get the sun light they need. That is counter productive and in many cases costly.

    Unless you are seeing signs of erosion, you might not need to do any earth works, particularly if there is enough rain fall through out the year. If you do need to do earth works, you have to decide which type will work best for your situation before you start. In Peru, the ancients used terraces because of the steepness of the terrain, swale/berm construction doesn't work if the slope is over 7 percent.
     
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  3. spencer

    spencer New Member

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    have you seen what they are doing down in brazil? its incredible. check out ernst gostch and the syntropic farming movement. . they are taking heavily degraded recently deforested lands and turning them back into productive food forests with the intention of returning them back into primary and old growth forests once the food plants have been phased out. thinking hundreds or thousands of years down the road. the practices have been going on 40 years and they are just starting to expand into the large scale commercial production scene as well. they are using successional agroforestry which is mimicking natural succession as bryant redhawk mentioned. but they plant trees and understory crops at once and as it moves through stages plants are harvested making more space available for the larger trees as they need the space. but this is giving you harvest of many crops in a single space through time giving you income and food in the first year
     
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