Are there any lists by zones for food forests? I'm very new to this, anxious to get started, but having a hard time figuring out what plants to use. I know the food bushes and trees that I want in the system. It's the nitrogen fixers, chop & drop, etc. that I am having trouble figuring out.
This is one of those times where sharing your location in your profile helps others to help you;)
In my case, I am looking at cool temperate climates, and Eric Toensmeier has helpful information, both on his own and in the two volume food forest work he did with Dave Jacke. Martin Crawford has a food forest book with very helpful information, and nicely arranged. I have found that, so far, crawfrod's work has had the most accessible format, with information well organized and cross referenced, such that it is easy to see which nitrogen fixers are good for chop and drop, or make good forage, or both.
If I were going to make a somewhat blind suggestion, it would be Martin Crawford's book.
I searched the Plants Database (advanced search) and this is what I got:
Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa
For oklahoma redbuds, locusts, and mimosa are all good legume trees that can be found for free. Other local power house trees (chop and drop) are mulberrys and hackberry. I have a catalpa too that has a lot of leaf litter to contribute in the fall. All those trees will require little or no care. On the ground I have great luck with red and white clover, plantains, dead nettle (flower first in spring so aids in peach pollination), mints, wild lettuces, bulbs like crocus and daffodil. SE ok is higher altitude in some spots, so you may be in a microclimate of some kind.
I am working on a design compiling lists of plants as well, I am in zone 6a. The usda plant database was confusing. Hoping somebody can point me in the right direction. I have done some research already and I will reply again with what I have so far.