This article is not complete, this is strictly a preview.
1% increase in organic matter of the average temperate climate soil, provides 10% increase in that soils water holding capacity.
Wind-borne dessication is a big factor to be aware of in the foothills. Inciting plenty of reason to seed shelter belts and cap ridges and peaks with trees.
When evapotranspiration is greater than precipitation (dry season), canopy shade is more important than mulch. Likewise, when precipitation is greater (wet season), we actively thin/skirt our trees for mulch material.
Earthworks/Watershed Management + General Hydrology
Check dams and swales provide immense hydrological benefit, especially when focus at capturing and spreading late spring, early summer watersheds into the annual dry period. These structures infiltrate large amounts of water into deep horizons of the soil. Eventually forming a water lense which will continously recharge groundwater, and waterways. Simple check dams not only raise the hydraulic pressure in our subsoil, but also increase the surface area for water to infiltrate into the water channels upper strata. These effects are largely evident from July to September.
Ground covers play a vital roil in quickly opening up soils, and establishing millions of vertical pathways to increase water infiltration.
Condensation is a considerable part of the water cycle, allowing for subtle hydration even in summers peak. When considering the potential of condensation to hydrate a land, the key to exponentially increase any given forests, surface area (leafs, rocks, branches, mulch layer) is by the planting of trees or more specifically: stacking rocks to form the worlds simplest humidifier.
‘Genetic depth‘: Any environment can be rapidly enhanced with the introduction of new genetic material into native gene pools. Whether it’s an East Indian red clover that injects our native red clovers with the information needed to better handle drought, or pine varieties that help our natives have a greater resistance to bark beetles, genetic diversity is crucial for any long-term health.
‘Species Diversity‘: A lot of the tree species we use are ‘non-native’, but they are latitudinally-native species which will further improve microbial diversity, helping insect diversity, supporting animal diversity, which will extentuate plant diversity.
All of these factors weave together, becoming a highly resilient carbon sink. All the while, providing food, medicine and materials.
Quick History Lesson
Industrial farming is the one of the leading causes of C02 pollution all the way back, far before Roman agriculture. Historically, every large civilization (without fail), has blatantly observed the steady degradation of their soils over the decades following the initial forest clear-cut, and subsequent ploughing and oxidizing of the top soil. The inevitable reduction in soil health pushes these empires to expand and envelope new lands, spiraling downward endlessly towards a degraded earth and short lived societal euphoria. And… here we are, arms outstretched for more, and as bloated as we’ve ever been.