Pressing publish from the studio at Terra Alta on a EDU tree chapter article on Windbreaks.  Great way to add biodiversity back in and bring crop resilience.



Windbreaks were once a commonplace element in the landscape when farming was small scale intensive and resource efficient. As agriculture practices transformed and land use became the growing of extensive and energy intensive systems, windbreaks and the diversityand stability that they brought to the landscape was withered along with the natural capital around them. Windbreaks, formed in a triangular shape, are key elements in sound designs as to deal with sectors. Sometimes it is a drying summer wind limiting growth of crops while other times it’s a cold winter wind whipping valuable heat from the house. Both are leaks of energy causing resource depletion yet blocking this through good design is possible. Furthermore, the Dust Bowl in the Midwest of the states in the 1930’s is the classic example in history of what happens when these valuable resources are taken out and the ensuing effects. The American literature classic called the Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, details just this and how the social and economic factors are intertwined so inextricably.

With that, the following are things to consider when designing a sound wind break:

  • appropriate sighting
  • spacing
  • shape
  • species selection
  • management

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