The Permaculture Orchard : Beyond Organic is a feature-length educational film that will teach you how to set up your own permaculture orchard at any scale. We recognize the limitations of the organic model as a substitute to conventional fruit growing, and want to propose a more holistic, regenerative approach based on permaculture principles. Based on 20 years of applied theory and trial and error, biologist and educator Stefan Sobkowiak shares his experience transforming a conventional apple orchard into an abundance of biodiversity that virtually takes care of itself. The concepts, techniques and tips presented in this film will help you with your own project, whether it is just a few fruit trees in your urban backyard, or a full-scale multi-acre commercial orchard. Trained as a biologist and landscape architect, Sobkowiak has taught fruit production, landscape plants and design, and natural history of vertebrates at Montreal’s McGill University. He’s been teaching permaculture since 1995. From here.
Connor Young wrote:... Thus, the crazy idea: would it be possible to create permaculture food forests at scale, to the point where they could supply the raw ingredient needs of my CPG food business?
... potentially sell any additional food to other CPG food companies trying to do the same thing if we have excess food.
Initially, I was thinking about partnering up with food forests that already exist, then over the course of the next several years, invest in making our own food forest to supply the raw ingredients to the end product.
If we could do this, I think it could be super big for the agriculture and food industries, because as a CPG food brand, we could help popularize the food forest concept amongst consumers, and challenge other food companies to do the same, so that we shift the industry from getting raw ingredients from monocrops to food forests over time.
To that end, I have several questions about the feasibility of this all.
1. How much yield do you actually get? I know, tricky question. depends on location and what's planted. I have a list of some of our ingredients below. As in, a quick google says you have to plant coconut trees 25 feet apart, so that's 70 trees per acre, yielding 6000 nuts per acre (assuming per year). But with multiple growth layers, would you have to spread those out, or likely just keep the same 25 foot separation and add to it with plants in lower levels?
2. How big can you make food forests? I see examples of individuals making them between 1-4 acres. Could you do it for a whole square mile or more?
3. If it does scale, what's the most likely limiting factor? Labor? Knowledge? Cost of seeds? Cost of land?
4. How many years would it take for this to start producing significant yield?
5. Are there examples of great farms to study from or visit to learn more?