How to Improve Fruit Orchards, Oil Plantations and the Planet

Image source:
In the previous post it was mentioned that in future farm owners may be obliged to reserve a portion of their farms for trees that could well be fruit orchards. One disadvantage of orchards as compared to natural forests is that they are low on bio-diversity and as a result they do not contribute as much to improvements in environment as  natural forests. However there is a very simple way to improve both the environment as well as fruit yield from orchards by introducing bio-diversity.

If twenty per cent, or even up to 33% of evenly distributed trees are different from the primary crop in an orchard then both the yield and the environment improves. Such orchards may yield up to one and half times the normal yield over the life of the orchard as per the author's estimate just because of improved bio diversity and soil health despite the fact that there are fewer trees of the primary crop. In addition there is the joy of a different fruit for the personal consumption and distribution by the owner if not the market. All that has to be ensured is that the other trees are not taller or wider in girth (with the exception of palm plantations where the girth would be wider) than the primary orchard tree. This method had been employed in traditional Iraq in date plantations north-east of Baghdad for centuries where other fruits of colder climates have been growing shaded by the date plantations for centuries resulting in huge yields of  good quality fruits and dates. If some or all of the other 20 percent are nitrogen fixing trees the gain is likely to be greater, read this:

Quite frequently, seeded by animal, bird or breeze a wild tree will come up naturally within an orchard. It is a good idea to leave it in and nurture it as one of the fifth trees. Being natural to the area it will contribute most to bio-diversity. Allowing or introducing wild flowers, berry bushes and mushrooms through the orchard would be even better. The bees will love the flowers and multiply faster. In orchard spaces exceeding ten acres in area do consider a pond with a stream leading to it meandering through the orchard with some fish of an edible variety in it to create the ideal ecology and ground water table as befits our wonderful Mother Earth. May She Bless such an orchard. Lakes help to store rain water and when ground water tables are high due to lakes and dams nearby, the roots of trees can find their own water from the ground even in dry months and do not need to watered. if blue water farming is done in the lake, it becomes a source of income too.

Lakes are a friend of trees

Trees that can attract bees to nest are an additional bonus for pollination and that occasional jar of honey to brighten up breakfast and the after dinner desert and health of the farmer and his family. It may be mentioned that neither the fruit nor the honey from single source orchards have the same health benefits as that from a bio-diverse source. The same strategy is recommended for almond, apple, palm and olive oil plantations. Farmers into organic farming may label their produce as oragnic and 'from a bio-diverse orchard' for that additional oomph in their marketing.

To create such an orchard, just plant every fifth tree in a row of a different fruit or timber. In an existing orchard selected trees may be removed to be replaced by others and when a forest is cleared for a plantation just leave in some original trees so that in the end one fifth the trees are the original ones. It may be worth considering if orchard owners should be compelled by law to introduce this bio-diversity.

An orchard owner may worry that it would make it difficult to manage the orchard but it would not be so with  the proper layout. A row of other trees can be planted after every two, three or four rows of the primary tree and then the primary tree can be maintained row-wise

Recently infestation is taking place in some olive groves in Europe. Such damage takes place from time to time especially in tree groves lacking bio-diversity. In the past the chestnut groves in USA were destroyed similarly. The chances of such infestations are reduced in bio-diverse orchards. In warmers regions just planting the Neem tree as some of the alternative trees reduces infection and the need of pesticides.

bio-divesre palm oil plantations are better for the planet.

Those who have been vocal against palm oil plantations must realize that palm oil plantations are less harmful to environment than field oil farms such as Canola and Corn. Humans need edible oil and palm oil is healthy as long as it is not used for deep frying. A lot of the opposition to palm oil comes from a sponsored agricultural lobby of developed world engaged in saving forests in poorer parts of the world while ignoring logging in their own countries.


Excellent and expert advise ! Ashok this should be circulated to a wider viewership.
ashok said…
Thanks Ramu, I have shared it on twitter and Facebook.

Popular posts from this blog

The Palash Tree - Magic of Medicinal Herbs and Flowers and Back Pain

Neem tree: As the Magical Sleep Aid

Gulmohar, Tree of Flamboyant Beauty

Jacaranda, tree of Angelic Beauty

The Godly Hermit Tree - Mulberry

Oils and Fats for Good Health

The Shoeshine Boy and his Message to Humanity

The Myth that Fruits, Flowers and Trees do not grow in Salt Water

Consulting a Spiritual Mentor is so much better