You may wish to take a look at the permaculture resources on WikiEducator, produced in large part by Otago Polytechnic (Leigh Blackall, et. al). WikiEd is CC-BY-SA
Wikirandy 12:28, 22 February 2009 (PST)
PS. Your CAPTCHA box is really quite irritating....makes one think twice about adding content. <smile>
Almost a decade ago, while working with True Colors, we would often drive out in the country looking for gold (pun intended) where others only saw as trash, as is all too common now as well. We were wood prospectors, looking for dusty old piles of plowed down gnarly mesquite fence posts. One time, right when we started looking for this type of crafting media, I started coming across posts that were quite a bit denser and more robust than the others. At first I thought that it was just a "fresh" one and thought nothing more of it, until I tried to cut one of these beastly logs on an old miter saw we used as a cut-off saw (slightly modified for safety!) and immediately knew this was NOT mesquite. I am of course referring to Bois d'arc, colloquially known as Bodarc, Horse Apple, Hedge Apple, or Osage Orange or, more formally, Maclura pomifera. The fact that it has so many names is telling. It has been used by the American Indians since antiquity for its unique strength and flexibility to craft bows of unsurpassed pull and durability. It has also been used to pave roads, as a remediation measure as a wind break in the Great Basin as a civic project during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. It is my hope that this tree will continue to serve mankind with its truly unique properties in the future. That being said, I feel that it is a perfect Permaculture tree for the following reasons:
1. It has the highest BTU value of any dried wood. 2. Its fruits can be grazed by livestock, and can be utilized as a hedge to keep herd animals in and invasive species, such as feral hogs and coyotes, out. However, it has been reported anecdotally that milk-producing livestock that consume many of them will make the milk bitter, which doesn't surprise me, as it has also be reported that the fruit can have a pH in the 4.4-4.8 range. 3. Its seeds are edible by humans, and anyone that has seen one knows that squirrels love them. If included in a permaculture forest, and the squirrel population is kept in check, it will mitigate damage that squirrels can do to other fruit trees. 4. It can be utilized for its latex sap to produce all sorts of rubber goods from tires on a LifeTrac to boot soles. 5. It has been show by Iowa State University that while the fruit is not an insect repellant outright, elemol, a chemical in the fruit does repel cockroaches and mosquitoes. This could be a part of an organic pest control strategy. 6. Dye can be produced from the prunings of the tree that is yellow-orange. 7. The wood is extremely hard and almost impervious to rot, without treating with harsh chemicals. This, with its flexibility and strength make it an extremely good structural lumber. 8. Pomiferin of the flavonoids produced by the tree have been tested as a possible treatment for heart disease due to it powerful antioxidative properties. 9. Morin, another molecule produced by the tree can be isolated and used to quantitatively to determine the concentrations of AL and Sn in solutions. 10. The wood is absolutely beautiful and makes fantastic furniture and ornamental pieces.
It is for these reasons that I feel that this tree, when managed properly, integrates well into a permaculture and agroforestry as well.James Clark 10:28, 26 June 2011 (PDT)