“As the worlds problems become increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple” (Bill Mollison).
Nowhere is this more evident as in land rehabilitation. Degraded land has a profound effect on people, eroding the ability for us to feed ourselves, access clean water and enjoy the emotional wellbeing of connecting with nature.
The solution to the problem is plants. The cause of land degradation is vegetation removal, therefore the problem is solved by putting plants back on the land. Plants are cheap and look after themselves pretty easily.
Plants and house sites
Around houses, we have to be strategic in our planting. The site should be well vegetated to be healthy and stable. Yet the plants shouldn’t ruin the microclimate of the house, be dangerous structurally or conflict with Rural Fire Service directives.
Food forests make an ideal back yard. People need to understand that the species in these food forests are highly selected, including for size. So a food forest can be scaled down to fit a small area if necessary.
Silt traps are closely spaced matting vegetation which is useful for forming compact garden edges, grass barriers and erosion control.
Native rainforest species are good on the fringes. The pioneer rainforest species are not as tall as gum trees, resist bushfire and are good for biodiversity.
Plants and the wider landscape
Further away from the house, the same approach works. “Regenerative agriculture” is a great term. There’s no reason why land that is steadily becoming healthier can’t also provide food. Humans have lived this way for thousands of years. Or you could turn land completely back to nature. Taller rainforest works well locally because it is fire suppressant and of high biodiversity.