One of the most fun concepts of Permaculture is Chop and Drop.
The concept of Chop and Drop is pruning, cutting or chopping woody perennials, shrubs and trees, and letting everything fall to the ground. Nature hates bare soil, and this is a way to naturally mulch your soil (like a forest) to feed the soil organisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, micro-arthropods, etc.) and sequester carbon in our soils.
Each fall, here in Southern California, I go through my commercial food forest and Chop and Drop before the rains come. During the winter, the organic matter starts to break down with the heat and moisture. It’s such a beautiful process.
For more significant items such as branches and palm fronds, you just cut them up into smaller pieces.
What are the results of Chop and Drop for me?
- I irrigate more than half of what other orchards in my macro-climate.
- I’ve NEVER fertilized my commercial food forest (15+ years).
- After two years, I no longer have weeds. Weeds do not like a fungally dominated soil.
- I’ve NEVER used a herbicide or pesticide.
- There are lots of fruits and herbs that I provide to our Harvest2U customers.
- Because of the amount of organic matter on and in the soil (and contour swales), I capture a significant amount of water when it rains.
Also, if you’re looking for a peaceful form of exercise, the method Chop and Drop is totally Zen and a good workout at the same time.