Alley Cropping

Jeff Owens jko at
Mon Apr 10 22:43:19 EST 2000

truffler wrote:
>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.

Maybe alley cropping isn't the best description.  The idea is to
coppice or pollard the alders and use the nitrogen rich leaves
to grow other plants.  This could be a forest environment or
a farm.  I've read reports from India where the leaf mulch and
root action of alders was able to drive a sustainable farm and
even provided browse for animals.

>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.

This year at Tree School i heard the claim that root nodes on alders
were formed by actinomycetes (not bacteria or fungi)?.  I imagine
the mycorrhizia fit somewhere in the picture but have no idea where.

BTW, i took your truffle course last year and managed to dig up a
few this year.  Strange, how i never noticed them before and now
i see them everywhere.  

jeff owens, jko at,

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