Is your land degraded?
Chances are: Yes. According to the National Geographic, 75% of the planets land mass is degraded. One simple way to check on your land is to see if you have a lot of open, bare soil on your fields. Say for instance you have an almond field and you have tilled the land once or twice a year, maybe even sprayed some pesticides to keep all vegetation at bay. Your land is heavily degraded in this case and your trees are standing on a desert, longing for healthy soil live and nutrients.
Would you like to lower the amount of work, pesticides and nutrients you need to afford for your land every year?
Would you like to have a productive, edible oasis on your finca?
If yes, then you should restore or regenerate the land on your finca!
Why the land is degraded?
We speak of degraded land, when the soil has lost much of its nutrients, has lost its ability to soak up water, or has been polluted with fertilizers and pesticides, and when top soil has been lost to show lots of rocks or rocky underground. This happens, when soil is laid bare (e.g. for agriculture or monoculture agroforestry) and the wind and the rain carry away top soil.
What needs to be done for Oasification?
Many steps are needed to effectively turn around degraded land. First and foremost, soil life needs to be restored. This is done by allowing worms, micro bacteria, fungi etc. to thrive again. Initially it is generally good practice to cover the soil with a protective layer of hey, carboard, or mulch for example. This allows the soil to stay moist for as long as possible. Then we need to create a design according to the local environment and climate situation. Factors like orientation to the sun, inclination, water-flow, soil type and soil ph, climate and prominent direction of the wind need to be taken into account.
No Water = No Problem! This is how finca land restoration with a food forest works!
The first three years of your food forest needs some form of irrigation in place to support the often young plants throughout the long, hot and dry summer. There are several ways to achieve this: a) Installing a water deposit with irrigation lines installed on your land, b) Biodegradable water buckets from “The Landlife Company”, c) Drilling a well, d) redirecting greywater from your house. All of these can take care of for you.