Friday, February 17, 2012

Hedgerows from Oregon


Last weekend I was heartened to read - in Yes magazine - about conservation based agriculture work being done out in Oregon.  The article went on to mention the use of hedgerows:

"And in 2001, he and his fellow farmers planted a hedgerow, a narrow strip of trees, shrubs, ground cover, and vines bordering fields. Jude Hobbs, a horticulturist and permaculture expert who helped the farmers at Winter Green plant their 300-foot hedgerow, explains that hedgerows can create shade for waterways and provide wildlife habitat. Hedgerows also benefit farms; they can decrease wind damage, reduce soil erosion, attract pollinators, and provide extra income opportunities....


“There was this gunshot reaction of, ‘Let’s get rid of all wildlife and habitat on farms,’” Baumgartner says. Farmers throughout the Salinas Valley, under pressure from large buyers and suppliers, bulldozed trees and hedgerows, filled in ponds, and removed and trapped wildlife. The shift away from conservation was particularly distressing, because many more large conventional farms will need to transition to wild farming to reconnect the nation’s fragmented wildlife habitat... 

The story led me to contact hedgerow practitioner Jude Hobbs who has written a brochure on Multi-Functional Hedgerows. This is a template that could be creatively adapted to local native plants and conditions.  In a time when we're desperately looking for habitat for our pollinators and other wildlife, this is inspiring work.

2 comments:

Owlfarmer said...

The list looks really helpful for us backyard hedgerow enthusiasts--especially since mine are mostly accidental. Years ago I stopped cutting down new trees and volunteer shrubs along two sides of our back property line (we have about .5 acre). The previous owner had planted nandinas along the north so I keep those up because the birds love the berries and the shelter. My reward has been a lowering of the noise level from the highway a mile away, as well as increased bird presence. I wish more people would do this instead of just putting in non-native and boring photinias, and then trimming them into boxes.

Dave Coulter said...

Owlfarmer - Glad you found the idea useful...three cheers for rough edges, eh? Are you having problems with invasive species?