Camp Cabarita Eco Lodge recently harvested 7 70 ft + almond trees. Cutting down trees (even those that had exceeded their useful life) stood in opposition to our environmental instincts and mission. The decision was made to cut them down for a multitude of reasons; potentially falling on buildings, making way for sunlight to plant edible gardens, building furniture, compost to put back into the land, and plant more trees/plants/vegetables. The debate on whether to cut down old nut trees on Camp Cabarita is over.
The land that Camp Cabarita is on was once a cashew and almond farm. The product life of a cashew and almond tree is about 25 years when production declines significantly. At this point the tree’s useful life really is finished as far as producing nuts. Although it is carbon producing and shade providing, it is also a danger in extreme conditions. Making cutting boards, side tables, chairs, and experiments with hugelkultur are all ways to recycle the wood
. UPDATE: photo of Calaloo, Tomatoe & Pepper Gardens. The soil has is improving and the tree roots are nourishing the soil. We first discovered Hugelkultur at a permaculture seminar by Cold Water Spings put on at the 2013 MREA Fair.
Hugelkultur is something that could really benefit a land like Camp Cabarita’s with the wood from trees. Hugelkultur is pretty much nothing more than buried wood, along with some nitrogren sources like horse manure. This can be flush with the ground, but raised garden beds are typically better as they also can be used anywhere berms or swales are needed to direct or retain ground water. The wood enriches the soil with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc. As the wood shrinks more air pockets are created making for a self tilling system.