Reversing The Climate 

The Role of Trees in Controlling The Climate

Misty Woodland

''Plants and trees can be used to mitigate and /or adapt to climate change.

  • Based on the fact that water run-off and erosion can be caused by climate change, the growing of plants and trees can, therefore, help to reduce run-off and erosion by breaking the force of rain and/or run-off from uphill, thereby reducing the possibility of floods in the society. It has been reported by the USDA “ that 100 mature trees can reduce runoff caused by rainfall by up to 100,000 gallons”.

  • Also, when plants and trees are grown, they consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide levels in the environment.Apart from absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, plants and trees also give out fresh oxygen to the environment. The release of fresh oxygen in areas affected by pollution provides a soothing relief for inhabitants in such areas.

  • Not only are plants and trees used to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere; they can also be used  to address significant environmental sustainability concerns.For example, biomass from trees can be used to produce renewable energy in a process known as biomass gasification.  The energy obtained from this process can be to heat homes and/or run processes in industries. It is noteworthy that renewable energy is regarded as a clean source of energy because harmful greenhouse gasses are not released when used. The need for clean energy is stressed by the United Nations and even part of its current goals, thus a significant global need. Trees and plants can, therefore, be used to address significant environmental sustainability concerns and create positive environmental impacts. Also, trees can be used to cool homes in hot weather conditions, eliminating or reducing the use of cooling energy, thus making it a good energy management measure. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “the overall effect of the shade created by planting a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners running 20 hours a day”.

  • Furthermore, trees can act as a barrier between buildings and the environment, preventing air from infiltrating buildings, thereby saving heating and energy costs during the cold seasons. The Journal of Horticulture states that as much as 25 percent heating costs can be saved using trees''.

  • Read more here 

The Role of Animals in Growing Food Forests 



''Five years ago we moved to our current property in North Texas.  While the general area is not particularly challenging, the property itself was.  The three acre property has anywhere from 11 inches (28cm) to as little as 3 inches (7.6cm) of soil, sitting atop a limestone slab.  Note: not rocks but solid slab. An insane place to build a permaculture property but we set to making it happen.

In our first year we selected an area to make into a full on food forest, in a swale-based architecture developed mainly from what I had learned from Geoff Lawton.  This was a classic example of right technique for the right place.

Other than some other small swale like paths, this was the only area of the property we designed with swales. The area is about 3/4th of an acre.  In total almost 600 feet of swale capture and infiltrate about 24,000 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall.

Once installed, we planted the swales with fruit trees, mostly stone fruits that do well in our climate like apricots, plums, almonds and various crosses such as pluots.  We also planted many varieties of mulberry, apples and various figs, persimmons and pomegranates.  To assist these trees we planted heavily with support species including initial legume based ground covers and supporting nitrogen fixers such as autumn olive and black locust.

Fertility was nearly nonexistent on the property so we ran a flock of ducks in a paddock shift system for three years, as part of a commercial duck egg operation. This winter we decided the ducks had done their work and at this point were actually holding the property back.  We had improved other areas of the property but the effect of almost 1 ton of ducks on the property was preventing us from developing sufficient herbaceous understory.

We sold the ducks off to various customers and advised them in setting up their own small-scale operations and even turned many of our retail customers over to them.

As we came into this spring, without the birds grazing we knew something special was about to occur.  Five long years of work, attempting to grow a forest on thin and highly alkaline soils on top of limestone slab may seem like an odd choice for a permaculturist, but it was the right choice.  The locusts, oaks and even the fruit trees have deposited humic acid on that alkaline rock, creating fractures and fissures.  Where once an inch of rain filled our swales, now it takes over two inches, water is getting into the fractures, wild flowers and medicinal herbs are everywhere.  Our trees are labored heavily with fruit and it is only April.

Read more here 

Regenerating The Soil

Nitrogen Cycle:  Nitrogen's Role in Legumes for a Fertile Soil 

''Abstract Mineral nitrogen deficiency is a frequent characteristic of arid and semi-arid soils. Biological nitrogen fixation by legumes is a sustainable and environmental friendly alternative to chemical fertilization. Therefore, legumes have a high potential for the reclamation of marginal soils. Such issue is becoming more urgent due to the ever-rising requirement for food and feed, and the increasing extension of salinized and degraded lands, both as a consequence of global change and irrigation practices.''

Read more here


The Role of Earthworms in Regenerating the Soil


The Role of Carbon for Fertile Soils


 Recycling Carbon: Carbon needs to be returned back to the soil

 Carbon needs to be returned back to the soil. Human activity has been taking carbon from natural sources and turned into forms     that cannot be recycled back, and we need to recycle carbon back to make it fertile. 


We need to be responsible in returning the waste and separating it so that it used again Either by using the power of compost, making the soil more fertile. Hence one that takes in CO2 and improves the climate.


Or by recycling the material that don’t decompose. Ideally we would love to avoid disposables because they are a one time use!


Wealth in waste: 

The Power of Compost
Nature recycles back everything: waste = food


What goes into a compost?

A compost pile is composed of Carbon (brown)

and Nitrogen (green)rich materials.

The ratio of Carbon : Nitrogen is

                               1/3 : 2/3

Materials suitable for composting are: 

Food waste: vegetables + fruits (Carbon, Nitrogen & Mineral ions)

Paper (Carbon)

Card board (Carbon)

Tea bags (Nitrogen)

Coffee grounds (Carbon & Nitrogen)

egg shells (Calcium carbonate)


Animal Manure (Carbon, Nitrogen & Minerals)

worms: they are necessary to digest the waste faster. 



Results after 3 months! 


Mulching: the process of regenerating the soil with nutrients it needs by adding food compost, water, paper, cardboard, grass, hay, etc. This process is done in Fall to prepare the soil to be ready in spring for planting


How it looked in January!