Long-term crops are crops where harvesting is done at the end of the season, such as dried beans, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, etc. They are spaces with very little maintenance in which it is not necessary to be constantly intervening.
The structure of these growing spaces is permanent. We use slightly elevated beds with north-south orientation to demarcate the growing zone and to avoid the tendency for flooding during rainy seasons. Currently the multching of these crop spaces is done with cardboard without paint with a cover of straw or cut hay. The irrigation system is drop with electronic controller.
In the long-term gardens, the proximity is smaller, thus being located in zone 2. In this same area lies the forest garden. The tendency will be to make more and more of these gardens an agroforestry space. To this end, the design of this zone provides for the intensification of the plantation of edible trees and shrubs in the garden space such as support-sacrificial species (fast-growing trees and shrubs and nitrogen-fixing herbaceous species), the garden where one can explore the techniques of Robert Hart (pioneer of edible forests in temperate zones) or Ernst Götsch related to the syntropical agriculture or agroforestry. With this method crop cultivations, driven by the inclusion of more and more perennial and native species, can benefit from chop-and-drop of the shrubs and supporting trees. This will increase mulching as well as the integration of the remains of plants in the garden that are not eaten, thus returning nutrients to the soil. The trees in the garden area allow also, in addition to creating sheltered wind spaces, the infiltration of water through its reticular structure such as the pumping of minerals from the deeper layers of the soil to the surface. In short, these are the same principles of the edible forest itself or of nature itself, natural succession or ecological succession!
These processes tend to produce positive changes in the ecosystem, such as increased biodiversity, improved soil structure, greater soil nutrient retention, microclimate changes such as increased relative humidity, and favoring the water cycle.
The integration between trees and vegetable garden is not a new subject, but rather a long history of success that has only been neglected due to the Faustian advent of mechanization of agriculture, one of the greatest frauds in history. Do not forget, in true agriculture the crop must leave the soil better than it has found, otherwise, even in conventional organic farming based on organic fertilizers, what is done is to maintain life in an unnatural way.