I suggested all refugees be trained in regenerative agriculture, sustainable building and living, with central support like nurseries, earthmoving, health and education etc. They are given plots with extensive Zone 5's, they sell surplus to Central support at market value. They get to live safely and with significant support doing the job that a lot of Australians don't want to do (repairing the land).
Very interesting. This is the introduction to a paper I wrote about the woods back home in N. Michigan (USDA Zone 4). (USA)
When trees arrange themselves into a forest, it is not a random activity. Principles and patterns emerge that reveal what has happened. The tree canopy permits a shaded growth of understory trees and shrubs, and those in turn provide an environment for ground covers and vines. At the edge are the sun lovers. And then there are the animals; the lizards, toads, birds, butterflies, bees, rabbits, racoons, weasels, and wolverines, the foxes, deer, wild turkeys, the white-tailed deer, and the majestic North American black bear who make a home in the forest - a home that that no single tree could provide. A food forest is a man-made forest that incorporates the essential principles of a natural forest and it invites animals in as well to pollinate, to perpetuate, to fertilize, to prune, and to share in the abundance.
Here I will discuss the permaculture concept of building a "food forest" garden and also talk about the natural food forest in northern Michigan that was my childhood home.
Gardens by definition are usually not natural productions. They are made in spite of nature. They are plowed and weeded and planted with seeds or plants from foreign lands. A food forest, on the other hand, is specifically designed to mimic certain features of a fully developed or climax forest. Wells, et. al. (2) define a climax forest as, "one capable of maintaining itself on the same site indefinitely, once established, given no dramatic climatic changes" (1999:12). A climax forest is one which follows a succession of plant communities to the point that seedlings "tolerate the conditions the parents create and thus are able to persist."
When selecting plants for a food forest design, it doesn't matter if the plants are the same kind that may have flourished in your area prehistorically. What does matter is that the structure and processes of a mature forest are replicated.
Unquote. [Unpublished Paper]
In this paper I recommended that to plant gardens, people should go to the woods around them and look at what is happening there.
I think growing up in a forest makes for a different kind of person than one who grows up on concrete. And what we need now are forest people who know what the functioning earth looks like.
And we need to look at all kinds of forests as models for our thinking, not just tropical forests.
So thanks for this introduction to a "Zone 5" forest and I hope to hear more.