Information about seed set and nutrition of velvet beans.
Mark MacLachlan in Wolaitta (Saddu) Ethiopia writes, “We have a tree here that farmers find very useful, but I haven’t seen much about it in other literature. I wonder if it wouldn’t be useful to others in other countries. It is Erythrina abyssinica. Primarily it is used as a live fence that produces fodder, fuel, intestinal medicine, and is said to fix nitrogen. It is propagated as a fence by putting in cuttings–even as large around as a man’s upper arm. The cuttings sprout and grow. Farmers gather the leaves to take to their cattle in the stalls. The species has small thorns, though not so many that they hinder collection of leaves for fodder. It isn’t particularly fast growing, but, because it establishes so quickly, fast growth is not as necessary for fencing purposes. It is also said to be resistant to fire and termites. Seed generally has a low germination rate–but once some trees are established, vegetative propagation is simple in the proper time of year. A species with similar uses is Erythrina brucei, found only in Ethiopia.”
Information about reforesting extremely eroded mountain soil with eucalyptus, a tree that is often maligned by farmers and development workers because of its supposed competition for water with food crops.