Thursday, November 3, 2011

food forest fantasy

... imagine walking through a lush forest.  around you are thriving trees and bushes dripping with fruit.  canopies of trees that create a lush environment where trees don't need to be tended, but take care of themselves, getting what they need from the cover crops on the ground that provide all the nutrients that they could need ... just as Father God intended.

this is my dream ... and it's called in permaculture terms a food forest, or forest gardening.

but .... what is this you ask?  here is the wikipedia definition .... forest gardening is a food production and land management system based on woodland ecosystems, but substituting trees (such as fruit or nut trees), bushes, shrubs, herbs and vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.  making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow on multiple levels in the same area, as do the plants in the forest.

having a hard time imagining what this is talking about?  here is a picture to help give a visual representation for you.

i find visuals to be really helpful.  really makes sense, doesn't it?  it takes a little bit of time and effort to get the balance right .... but once you have a plan it's a go!

right now i am planning and dreaming about what we will have in our food forest.  part of that research is just seeing how the guys who have been successful did it.  the other part is looking at what our family eats!  and working out a way to companion plant so that they all work together well.

so who has or is doing a food forest well?  the list of successes is amazing ... but here are a few of the ones that i am enjoying.  and i say enjoying because as with anything to do with stewardship of our Father's land ... time is a huge element and they say it takes 5-8 years for a food forest to really get established.

  • The Food Forest.  these guys have established a food forest in the barren scrub around Gawler, SA.  pretty amazing stuff!
  • you can never go wrong with what Wikipedia has to say.  just remember ... it's not always 100% but generally good!
  • and yes ... how could i not include the Milkwood food forest journey.  theirs is a start.  part of what i like ... and a transparent process and journey towards their dream of sustainability.
  • the guys at Zaytuna out in The Channon have a great resource on food forests.
  • and i like this one from Happy Earth because it is done on a suburban block.  you don't have to have 100 acres to be sustainable!
  • and last but not least .... watch this "time lapse" of Geoff Lawton growing a food forest.

so right now, i have an excel spread sheet with a growing list of trees that i want to think about using.  interesting things like the brazilian cherry and black sapote.  and what about the ice cream bean?  <g>  and once our house in sydney sells and we have a place here ... the food forest will be one of the first things to go in ... and those dreams i have of a forest floor of sweet potato and strawberries with a canopy of avocado's and mango's ... will be worked on in earnest!

Psalm 24:1
the earth is the lord's, and everything in it,
the world and all who live in it.

1 comment:

  1. You are in just the right area to grow a food forest , too Maggie. We are trying to do something similiar in our back yard , but it is taking alot longer due to the climate and growing conditions. It is fun planning it all , but I know you will achieve it too .