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Room for annuals in the forest garden. Wich size?

 
Posts: 150
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Hello everybody!

I have this project of forest garden Mediterranean Food Forest

I aim for all perennials, but we want to have some room for annuals. First we made vegetable beds between tree rows, because we wanted to create a CSA or something alike. But with all the covid restrictions we had to change focus and now we decided to have annuals only for family consumption.

The way we had it (beds between rows) was more for a commercial use, so bigger size, more work. Changing the focus, we want to have vegetable beds (or hugelkultur, or whatever) for the whole year (in the mediterranean we can harvest every month) but with less work than now. We are four, but lets say we want to give stuff to my parents and brother... so, for 6/people, harvesting all year round, only annuals (perennials we will place them here and there) , minimum viable work, how many beds and wich size do you think is optimum?

The idea is to leave a clearing just for annuals, and the rest will be trees, perennials, etc

Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 280
Location: WV
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Our growing climates are too far apart to really give specific advice, but I'll offer a few pointers.

First, compile a list of the food your family likes to eat and then make an estimate of how many plants you would need.  Then maybe using graph paper and recommended spacing, determine the space needed.  In your climate you can grow year-round but I'm sure everything has a season where it grows best.  Are you growing for fresh eating or for storage/preserving as well?  Last year was my first really intensive year of raised bed gardening and mulch was my friend as I spent very little time weeding.  While I'm hoping to have as many as three harvests in some beds, I know that I'll need to add a few inches of compost at least yearly to keep the soil happy and productive.  I only had 256 square feet of garden space last year and that wasn't near enough to provide for three of us and share with my parents as well.  I'm also planning on a small market garden in the future so I keep extensive notes on planting dates and harvest yields to guide me in the future and I'm sure that would help you in your future CSA venture as well.
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 150
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Michelle Heath wrote:Our growing climates are too far apart to really give specific advice, but I'll offer a few pointers.

First, compile a list of the food your family likes to eat and then make an estimate of how many plants you would need.  Then maybe using graph paper and recommended spacing, determine the space needed.  In your climate you can grow year-round but I'm sure everything has a season where it grows best.  Are you growing for fresh eating or for storage/preserving as well?  Last year was my first really intensive year of raised bed gardening and mulch was my friend as I spent very little time weeding.  While I'm hoping to have as many as three harvests in some beds, I know that I'll need to add a few inches of compost at least yearly to keep the soil happy and productive.  I only had 256 square feet of garden space last year and that wasn't near enough to provide for three of us and share with my parents as well.  I'm also planning on a small market garden in the future so I keep extensive notes on planting dates and harvest yields to guide me in the future and I'm sure that would help you in your future CSA venture as well.



Thanks for the advice, Michelle! I think I might start raising beds, trying to make them dense, and go by trial and error. Let's see what happens!
 
Michelle Heath
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Location: WV
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Good luck to you Antonio!  
 
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