Think of those wooden posts surrounding your backyard known as a fence, made from a dead tree. What if we replaced those with real, living trees?
In the windy mountains of Costa Rica, you will see numerous trees, from those bearing colorful fruits to others sporting thick spines, planted about 1 to 3 meters apart. Connected by long lines of barbed wire, these rudimentary-looking arrangements, known as living fences, have both economic and environmental benefits over their dead wood counterparts.
Farmers across Central America plant living fences because these green barriers are a more economically feasible and readily accessible method for containing livestock and protecting crops. There are so many benefits, including:
- The trees that form the post grow stronger as they grow bigger
- Shared among neighbours or sold at local markets, these sticks are much cheaper and more common than manufactured posts.
- No pain or preservatives needed, meaning no toxins entering the environment
- Some animals graze on these fences, resulting in less purchase of livestock feed
- By providing some shade and serving as windbreaks, they can significantly decrease the amount of energy farm animals need to regulate their body temperatures.
- Roots systems helps stabilize soil and prevent erosion or runoff
So, hands up: who thinks having a living fence would be amazing?
For more information, please visit this link: http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/innovation-of-the-week-living-trees-as-fence-posts/