A reply to a post in another community reminded me of a time-honored practice in Southern Appalachia. My cousin and good friend Duck first brought it to my attention. In spring, weeds are removed from under the trees in apple orchards, then field or cow peas are planted among the trees to suppress weeds and fix nitrogen. The mature peas are harvested and eaten before the vines are cut and left in the orchard as compost that is worked into the ground the following spring. My friends and I are experimenting with this method in order to avoid herbicides and improve the fertility of the local clay soil.