I bought and watched the Permaculture Orchard film and I am wondering about grazing 2 sheep in my half acre that would also be orchard. Will the fruittrees produce without too many pest problems (I could use traps and such) if I don't have the guilds and have grass growing around them? I think in the Back to Eden film, he has bark around his fruit trees, but no plants. I could keep the grass a foot or so away from them using mulch. I just don't see having guilds with sheep. Maybe when the trees are much older and stouter and then you could just wrap the bark with hardcloth, but not when they are young.
Just wondering if guilds are absolutely necessary in large rings around the trees or if the orchard would do okay without them and have sheep and chickens grazing?
sheep will eat any leaves and small branches they can reach and chew the bark of fruit trees. So you would need to protect them with some fencing or something (pallets?). That would allow other plants to grow in the protected area. If you use rotational grazing and allow enough time, plants will grow back so you can have it all. There may be some plants sheep don't like, but none come to mind.
I'm thinking through this issue, too, since we have goats & chickens and want to add more fruit trees. I think we'll have to protect the young trees with fencing, so we might as well grow a guild within that fencing.
I have only found three plants sheep will not eat, all quite useful. Poke weed, mullien, and yucca. I think a hardy kiwi, sheep system would be neat. I plan doing some experiments with this in a couple of years.
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