For any extremest on this site, Permaculture may seem conservative or too middle of the road to consider it a practice for Rewilding.
However, I’d like to share an experimental poem I wrote on the subject.
Homesteading in the 21st Century
On a ½ acre property, south facing slope, near the bottom of a gully, the Cottonwoods and Aspen trees on my new Rocky Mountain homestead were dying.
Perhaps due to various disconnected uphill excavations when the land was being subdivided, but the sloping property was victim to an excessive underground water table from the snowmelt that leached all the rich underground silt, away, leaving rock, crusted clay and dead roots.
Now as a result, the mature Aspen grove was sharing a unified root structure covered in pestilence. The tree trunks were oozing with black, seeping sores, and riddled with dead branches. Dark grey lichen clung to the knightly silver-white bark like deer ticks carrying disease do to skin. The ground around the aspens had depressions; sunken swales perhaps where the plunder had occured. Now cavities of ‘missing’ [topsoil] some of the swales became muddy marshes; like filthy dish sponges, good for very little. There were other signs of infestation. Posh green patches of moss, like pillows, making Priestly promises to the trees of better days yet to come, of better days of yet to come. Thickets of dreary thorny shrubs congregated into groups, overcrowding the space around the Aspen groove and claiming it with gnarly branches; like dirty fingers of homeless people, begging on the street, reaching for more change. Or buzzards, having flown in at sight of death, fiending, fighting, feasting on rotting meat. Decay.
Bolstered against the icy March winds and intermittent rains, I armoured myself in hat, goggles, overalls, gloves and boots. With brushcutter in hand, I began a deluge of my own (to recover the loss of health to my land). Scraping off lichen from every branch, watching the light bark beneath breath again. Pickaxing -skeletons; shoveling away -bones (unearthing old rusty nails, cables, pulleys, bottles, cans). As the season wore on, my spirit was revived. Filling in the swales with dirt. Mulching layer upon layer. Mulching, layer upon layer. Spraying the diseased black ooze with vinegar and water, over and the leaves and roots. Inoculating the soil with compost tea. Signs of a soil food web began to develop, deep beneath my eyes.
The following spring breathed new life into the roots. Robust growth sprang out from the trunks to branches to leaves. The warm sun baked the oozing black wounds. making scabs on the bark, where the lichen had been. The oid patches of moss and shrubs were replaced by new flowering plants atop thick rows of dank, mulch -sweet smelling, mycelium laced, composted mulch. Finally, a permaculture food forest grew in tiered layers beneath the groove of trees, reflecting the abundance of what once was. Plum, apricot, Hazelnuts, Ginko, Mulberry, Elderberry, Sea berry, Magnolia, tobacco, Pachouli and tea plants were planted; exotics species of Bamboo. HIgh-bush cranberry, Aronia berry, gooseberry, boysenberry, strawberry, raspberry, huckleberry. Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Sumac and more every spring occupied the void along the perimeter of the property. Even morel mushroom spores, already native to the area, were planted to reinforce the habitat in the woods south, bordering the property. The ecological environment had walked me along, like a user-friendly ap. might, holding my hand, patiently teaching me what is Balance and how to accelerate it. Homesteading in the 21st Century.