Milpa = Ancient Mayan Permaculture?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Michaelangelica, May 22, 2010.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    [​IMG]
    https://www.mayaforestgardeners.org/resources/keyterms.php
    Milpa cycle The milpa cycle is the conservation method of farming and managing the Maya forest. It goes through four main stages over the course of approximately 20 years: from the forest to the milpa; from the milpa to the forest garden; and from the forest garden back to the forest.
    https://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2993/0278-0771-29.2.213?journalCode=etbi

    https://www.espmaya.org/milpa.html

    https://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Milpa_agriculture

    https://polyculturedesign.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/milpa/
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
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    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    every thing old is new again?
    Thanks MA
     
  3. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    It's good to see that lots of cultures have used the forest gardening techniques. Farmers who didn't live near forests didn't get this advantage, and that's probably where the monocropping got started. But since I've been trying it, it's not the la..la...la...la...everything-grows-with-everything,-just-throw-it-out-there-and-it's-all-good theory doesn't necessarily work. I think it's important to remember that depending on our circumstances, we have to consider transplants as opposed to direct seeding (I lost probably 2 pounds of buckwheat by not burying the seed and 100 feet of seed mixes) because there are just too many critters out there getting fed on seeds, instead of the seeds having a chance. There are still plenty of things to be on the alert for. :)
     
  4. Tropical food forest

    Tropical food forest Junior Member

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    thanks for posting this

    slash and burn has a bad name
    but its not deserved, not when its cyclical like this
    theres another form called pioneering slash and burn where the land is grazed athen abandoned to blady grass, this is very bad

    most of us would be on backyard blocks or small acreage, and probably busy turning lawn and pasture into forest
    but in 20 -30 years those systems will start to senesce and production drops
    because most food crops are pioneers and secondary species that dont live as long as humans
    stonefruits get old and get gummosis, citrus accumulates viruses, apples accumulate root pathogens, bananas get panama and sigatoka
    all trees end up with heart rots and root pathogens as part of natural ageing.
    and the soil needs resting to break the cycle of pests seen as old orchard syndrome

    A few like jackfruit, avocado and mango are primary species and can mainatain permanent forest but eve thes efruit better with access to light and nutrients. If we never made gaps all wed have would be primary forest species, and if youve ever been into a rainforest youll see theres not much food for humans in mature forest, its all at the edges and in the gaps

    ive been studying these systems as they occur across the world and im convinced , especially with new understandings of the role of charcoal in tropical soils, that the milpa will be the future renewal phase in old food forests
    extract the timber,char the residue and start afresh with a crop of maize, cassava, yams and pioneer legumes

    Food forests, Milpa and wet rice paddies are recognised widely the only long term sustainable agriculture land uses in the wetter tropics and subtropics.
     
  5. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    Part of my front yard pictured here . I planted hundreds of things very close together .
    And have been very surprised at how well some groupings have gone .
    Here a giant aroid Alocasia portei next to a clump of ginger Dimerocostus stropilaceous and planted extreme right is Artocarpus hypargyreus or kwai muk .
    Tree would be 4m tall now , another planted out back at same time by itself is only half as large .
     

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  6. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    I had to delete some previously posted pictures to post this one .

    Here is the same grouping pictured only 8 months later .

    The clump of Dimerocostus is enormous .
    I had spread a trailer load of chopped cyclone debris around the area .
     

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