Trees have deeper roots than most other plants, therefore trees are able to access nutrients and pure water deeper in the soil than any other plant. A second reason is that trees usually have a longer lifespan than other plant species, therefore they can accumulate more nutrients and have to overcome more diseases.
Soil full of Nutrients
Usually, you will find food trees in forests where the soil is full of nutrients. Compared to agricultural land which depletes the soil of nutrients by growing crops multiple times a year.
Forest soil is much more nutrient rich due to the following reasons
- Tree leaves, branches turn into compost year after year
- Fungi and bacteria that live in this rich soil produce different kinds of nutrients
- Wild animal poop, we all know poop is an excellent fertilizer
- Insects/worms are much more present in forest soils. They are very beneficial for creating healthy soil. They help with making compost and keep the soil airy which benefits root growth.
Fertile Topsoil depletion, the next world crisis
I want to sidewind a little bit on soil and its relation with healthy food and the role trees play.
Fertile topsoil to produce healthy food is one of the big challenges this world is facing. Agricultural lands are getting depleted, artificial fertilizers are necessary to grow crops.
The problem with Artificial fertilizers is that they grow the plant, but that’s it. It looks like a healthy plant, yet it lacks a lot of nutrients compared to if it would have been grown in healthy soil.
Rainforests are cut because this soil is extremely fertile. But as we all know, cutting our rainforests for intensive agricultural purposes is madness. Yet there are so many edible tree products to find in the rainforest, it is just a question of adapting. The main reason I started this blog, is to make people aware it is possible to eat dishes from tree products.
Although Treetarian focusses on 100% tree products, agroforestry is the way to feed a large population in a sustainable way. Agroforestry is combining trees with more traditions in agriculture. Agroforestry produces healthy soil also for more traditional crops. Shading from trees can prevent crop loss during extreme heat.
Another big threat to the world’s fertile topsoil is the growth of deserts. Deserts have been growing at a rapid rate. Sand is consuming agricultural land. A lot of initiatives are taken to combat the growth of deserts. Again, trees are the solution to combat this menace. Root structures and shading for lower growing plants are tools to combat desert growth and secure food sources for people who live there.
A good example of a tree that fights dessert formation is the argan tree. Yes, the tree that produces the precious argan oil.
Tree-food is healthy and has many secondary benefits for the world. Healthy soil is one of them. Carbon sequestration, clean air production, and shade formation for lower growing crops.