• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

getting Year-Round Food Forest production

 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in Zone-9 and think that by choosing the right species and offering the right protection i can get year-round food production. We get maybe 2-3 frosts in a year, cool temperate, very rainy winters, summers getting drier and warmer now though. I live in the kind of area where a friend of mine walking through a well-protected mountainside forest (that used to be farmed) ran in to a banana tree that had fruit in December.

Anyway, this may be obvious but I wanted to get opinions. Should I completely surround it in evergreen species in order to have year-round windbreak protection since I want year-round food production? My doubt that is on the southwest side of the spot I have chosen, there are already some deciduous fruit trees that I do not want to block out with a hedge. Also if they have less leaves in winter, they will let in that low-winter sun for species of perennials on the interior that would stay green and alive in winter. The food forest would be on a south-facing slope and there is some wind that blows up the mountain.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I ask myself the same things in almost the same climate, minus the frosts!
I made a topic about fruits in August / September, as there are less fruits then.

What do you already have?
What have you seen around?

You cannot plan bananas, they come all year round.
In winter I rely on oranges and guayava.
Then papaya in may until now, but mainly until July. I think you are too cold for it, but you can try the mountain papaya.
Mulberries and plums in July.
Apples in June July, and then they start again in november.
In August starts the higos chumbos!
Figs in september october. + almonds.
Now we have mangos, guayava fresa, pitanga (twice a year), kaki (persimmon), feijoa (grow them in some shade).
The tomato tree will soon give fruits.
You should have membrillo and pears as well, and chesnuts.
Will the moringa survive your frosts?
 
David Goodman
gardener
Posts: 496
Location: Zone 9a/8b
21
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Moringas survive well here and I'm in zone 8b/9a. At least I was until the USDA came up with their untrustworthy new zone map.

Some members of the Eleagnus family are food-producing evergreens that work as wind breaks.
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In August/September we get pears, peaches, figs and we start getting apples and oranges/lemons are year-round.

We have membrillo and chestnuts (we are getting a lot of chestnut these days) yup.

The neighbors stick to traditional fruits, plum, peach, apple, pear, cherry, grape of course.

Those are some good ideas, thanks.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Traditional fruits are always the best basis...
Are there almond trees? I hope so for you! A great tree. You did not mention apricots... (I am too warm for them unfortunately)
Olives? The black mulberry is not found in your area?
Can you grow avocados?

May be you do not know these two:
I think you have a better climate than me for ugni molinae ! This is the chilean guayava... Supposed to be very tasty.
Also good: ciruela de Natal, the natal plum from south africa.
It can make a spiny hedge, and produces almost any time, depending on watering.

Even better for a spiny hedge, el azufaifo, ziziphus jujuba. I have found it in a local vivero (natal plum as well)...
Seeds can be found too. It is mediterranean and also called chinese date.

Also mediterranean, the pomegranate.
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have not seen any almond around. Había un olivo Gallego pero se perdió y ahora hay gente intentando recuperarlo.

I have ziziphus jujuba seeds. Mirabel do Rosal is the local plum and I see everyone with peaches but no apricots.

I have a friend growing avocados so yeah!

I haven't seen any morus nigra but I will look better.

I had the idea of having a ring of evergreen species for windbreak on the outside, followed by traditional deciduous fruiting trees in the middle and then the more subtropical stuff on the inside, this way when the leaves drop in winter, the low winter sun will get in to the subtropical stuff in the middle and they can get year-round light and still be protected (I also have stone walls to grow against).

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
not familiar enough with zone 9 to give info on that..but for frost protection look into some season extenders like cold frames, greenhouses, or just cover when there is a frost coming
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No almonds and no apricots? (they are of the same family)
You must find out why, this will teach you a lot for sure about the climate specificity!
Are you from this area?

I would use the walls for warmth keeping with the sun.
I have kept vine near my walls (y risco!), so they shade walls only in summer.
More efficient than a "tree wall" surrounding your tropical stuff, don't you think?

Some I have mentionned, like the ugni molinae and natal "plum" (carissa macrocarpa, now I remember!), can stand a bit of frost.

(your sentence in spanish in the middle of english made me smile!)
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My zone 9 is very rainy, our summers are not hot like the middle and south of Spain but our winters are a little bit less cold.

Xisca I think we don't have almond or apricot maybe because we have so much rain and fog here? I will ask around about those trees. My parents are from here, they raised me in the States, I have visited over twenty times but almost always in the summer. I have come back to live so this will only be the second time I am here in the fall and winter!

My PDC instructors and Martin Crawford, when I took his course, talked about both windbreak and stones(thermal mass) to create microclimates, I think with these two techniques I can regulate the few frosts we might get. I will take advantage of living in a place where for generations people really liked building stone walls. Unfortunately my grandfather used some of the best spots for lemon trees, we have four lemon trees and I can't even use all of the lemons from just one tree! So I might prune them back or even take down the oldest but it seems so sad to cut down a perfectly good lemon tree but it is right there in Zone 1/Zone2 on a giant stone wall that could have something tropical and tasty so I am tempted.

I just get confused about windbreak because sometimes on his webpage Crawford will list a deciduous tree as a windbreak and I suppose that assumes that all of the tree in the food forest are dormant in the winter anyway and that as long as they are hardy to the area, the wind will not bother their dormancy, I don't know.

Thanks for the advice.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, then take into account that I talked mainly about what is for a dryer climate...
Because I lack of water.
Ugni molinae is definitely good for you, they come from a foggy place too.
I am interested to know the answer for the prunus family...

Can you sell some lemons?
You can also graft some other citrus on your lemon...

As walls stop wind on one side, then plants are windbrakes where there are no wall!
And I also use another method than trees, fences with climbing plants.
I put lima beans and also malabar spinach.

I have planned to do such a fence north west of my banana patch.
1 advantage is: FAST!!
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In prunus, we have local variety of plum, cherry and peach. I am sue someone around has apricot, just no in my village or in the villages of my relatives.

I looked at your place and I saw that you get little rainfall so I am taking it in to consideration.

I took a weekend course with Martin Crawford and he has Italian Alder as a drought tolerant large nitrogen fixing tree, maybe it will be good for you there? Also he has the elaeagnus family is a must for every forest garden, they fix nitrogen and have abundant-delicious fruits. His favorite is autumn olive (elaeagnus umbellata), it makes amazing maramalde. I ordered seedlings of autumn olive and Italian alder and whenever they give seed I would be happy to share but that may take some time!

Check out his seed list, he has some stuff in there for drier, sunnier climates, although most of it is for normal temperate European conditions.
http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/seedorders.html
http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/plantorders.html

I also have two orange trees that fruit and have very nice and sweet oranges. I guess I should sell lemons, I have so many, sometimes friends and family come take them but they mostly just fall on the ground. The oranges I use for juice and smoothies but one can only eat so many lemons haha. Yes, good idea I need to learn to graft!
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, even if you have more water, it is wise to have some water-wise trees anyway!
How much do you have, and do you have some summer rain?
Are you inland or near the ocean?
I am also facing the altlantic as you, but my climate is mediterranean...

I will consider elaeagnus, but I do not know which one can be good for my climate, they look like more northern trees.
The angustifolia looks more southern than the asian species.
It is also drought resistant.

But Elaeagnus umbellata is great for its fruits in december! (I do not forget the title of the threat...)
It would need some shade in my place.

Here, I have Crataegus azarolus, Mediterranean medlar (acerolo in Spanish, which is not acerola cherry!)

I also consider having hippophae rhamnoides, sea-buckthorn.
Though a rosales, it is considered as a non-legume nitrogen fixer.
So much south, it will be a try!

Italian alder needs 600mm/an, and is not an edible, so if it does not thrive with only rain...
I could recommend it for people living more in the north of the island.
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Me acaban de regalar semillas de acerolo!

The good thing about Italian Alder is that it has a narrow crown so it doesn´t cast too much shade on its neighbors and in the course Crawford said it can fix nitrogen to neighbors up to forty meters away.

I am almost in the exact center of Galicia on the Rio Ulla in a valley. They say our climate is becoming mediterranean little by little, our summers normally have rain but they are getting a little bit drier and summer is extending in to the beginning of October so I am trying to prepare.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So it means you can use much the same as what I have....
I can put more tropicals, and you can put more template climate plants...
But in the tropicals, I do not plant the one that need their water in summer, I will never imitate the rain-forest!

Have you thought about edible-podded acacia, for N fixing/edible?
Adler is very interesting, and here, the island lack of wood for carpentry (though we have here the best hard, heavy and critter resistant wood! the too rare heart of the canary pine)

Tell me if acerolo germinates well. I have 1 tree, but shops sell the rarest plants too expensive, and I still do not know the taste.
I just know it has to be off wind, or else it will shed its fruits before they ripen.
Also, they put on leaves late, so do not think they are dead in spring.

The year round forest is hard to plan, because it is not easy to know when one has fruits in its place, with unknown species!
At the moment I eat kaki, persimmon, and i would not know when it fruits by asking, the palmero usually do not know it and have never tasted it...

Actually, I do not have much fruits all winter, but I rely on oranges, so I did not really notice the lack!
Apart from other citrus and guayava, I do not know what I can plant for winter fruits...
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Conozco a un hombre que lleva treinta años aclimatando especies tropicales y subtropicales a Galicia, así que compro de el. Aquí su pagina http://www.catalogodemicosecha.blogspot.com.es/ Tiene mas de lo que esta listado, el visita lugares en Latino America que experimentan temperaturas entre 20-25 normalmente y los trae de vuelta.

It is a rainy day (surprise!) so I am researching mushrooms! I think that there is potential for having a food forest that can give some tubers, mushrooms, and edible shoots/leaves/etc. in winter so I am not just focusing on fruit.

Yeah in order to predict when things will fruit in our climate we have to see if neighbors are already growing it or just observe for ourselves.

It is a little weird to communicate in English when we both speak Spanish but since this is an English-speaking forum haha.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, guys from Florida and California, you are welcome in the DIalogue!

You are more bilingual than me Jose, as I am not a native Spanish!
I do not have exactly the same vocabulary in both languages, and it's been a funny exercise to switch from one language to another, as I have to speak English here with some foreigners.
I am French. Of course I speak Spanish every day. The Canary accent is not so easy... A few different words, if you know what are zamuro, guagua y guataca! And every one want a guataca for gardening after seeing it!

Have you planned to have Asimina triloba (pawpaw)?
Do you know pera melon?
Rain prepares for tomorrow... well, we are supposed to have nearly 1cm...

I do not want only fruits either, but I want them because I do not eat starch...
Then I want nuts and legumes.

Do you know Ramon and Marula?
Ramon is from Mexico/Guatamala
Marula is from South Africa.
I look for seeds or seedlings for both...

I had already seen this website, easy to remind the guy in wheelchair. You are lucky to get plants from here nearby.
I want pistachio, and here they sell only the variety you have to water more! La que no se hace a secano!
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah, je me trompe! Vous et Française, enchantée. Yes switching languages is interesting plus now I have to learn the names of plants in Spanish, English, Botanic and Gallego (local language here)

I don´t know any of those words from the canaries, I have never been thee.

Yes I want to plant a Paw Paw, my permaculture teacher in the United States said that his Paw Paw was the furthest north in North America, he was in Vermont, close to the border with Quebec. He also explained that the Paw Paw began in Central America and then began travelling North after the ice age. I also heard it takes years for it fruit.

I have heard of pera melon but I do not know much about it.

I have never heard of Ramon and Marela, they have a nursery?
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had to learn the names in different languages too...
And a new flora.
Zamuro is a large outdoor plastic bucket, guagua is the bus (same name as in Cuba), and guataca is a sort of azada, a garden tool, shaped like a half moon.

About names... Very funny!

Do you know Ramon and Marula?
Ramon is from Mexico/Guatamala
Marula is from South Africa.


I have never heard of Ramon and Marela, they have a nursery?


Yes this was confusing, but these "persons" are trees and not humans...

Ramon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brosimum_alicastrum

Marula: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sclerocarya_birrea

I think they are worth while meeting!
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic