Agroforestry is an intentional growing of woody plants with row crops, forages and/or livestock. Practiced in various forms since ancient times in China, the Mediterranean and pre-colonial America, agroforestry is now gaining interest in North America because of associated economic and environmental benefits.
Linda, I think that if everyone who farms or gardens on any level would practice "micro" agroforestry (I just made that up!) there would be a definite benefit to the local area environments! Little things add up after a while.
Hmmm... rats!? Wow. I have no idea how one goes about dealing with rats in the garden. They're such hardy, innovative, sneaky things! I wonder if there are certain herbs that rats don't like that could be planted between the rows of your corn and spinach?