Alley Cropping

truffler1635 at truffler1635 at
Sun Apr 9 11:08:43 EST 2000

In article <9l174QS0B8YO092yn at>,
  jko at (Jeff Owens) wrote:
> Does anyone have experience with alley
> cropping?  I've got a number of sitka alders
> and looking for a good way to utilize their
> nitrogen.
I'm not _exactly_ sure what you mean by alley cropping. If this is
similar to strip harvesting, the the bulk of the data comes from New
Zealand and Scandinavia.

As for the sitka alders, I'd try cultivating either oyster and shiitake
mushrooms on the larger-diameter material (2-10 inch diameter). Red
alder (Alnus rubra) grows both these fungi readily, and produces several
crops of fungi per log, all while degrading the wood and making the cell
nutrients more readily available for recycling. I don't know of anyone
who has actually dried cultivating mushrooms on Sitka alder, but that
doesn't mean it couldn't be done.

BTW, it is possible you have one or more forms of truffle with your
trees. The nitrogen fixing ability of legumes, long believed to be
exclusively the tree symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, has now
been enlarged to reflect the mycorrhizal fungi which actually form the
root nodules on tree and other plant roots. On Red alder, Alpova
diplophloeus is a common mycorrhizal associate, and is quite edible is
its own right. Not having collected under Sitka alder, I'm unsure what
species of mycorrhizal fungi are involved.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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