I would love to start a food forest somewhere on my 13 acres but I know next to nothing about how to start. I wouldn't know where to locate it/them on the property, what plants to use, how to use earthworks, how to/if I can incorporate livestock, etc. I have a terramite backhoe and a little excavation experience but no knowledge of the how's and why's of everything involved. All that I know is that I want lots of varieties of fruittrees, berries, nuts, but my wife and kids will probably eat more of the green stuff. We have a very narrow, limited list of things that we eat now. But would love to try new things and expand them.
What are the best books, DVD's, other resources that you folks would recommend? I've tried to read up on it and get a lot of conflicting reports. Thanks in advance.
Martin Crawford, Toby Hemenway, Eric Toensmeier all have good and helpful books out there. Toby's "Gaia's Garden" is possibly the single most popular permaculture book there is and well worth reading. Crawford is a British food forest guy with wonderful knowledge and information, organized to be used readily. Eric has a number of books, all of which are interesting, informative and helpful.
Eric is particularly nuts and bolts useful if you are in a cool temperate climate, as he talks quite a bit about what he is able to grow in Massachusetts. His work in particular might be helpful for putting together lists of plants that you and your family would like to grow and eat that will grow where you are.
Gaia's Garden is a wonderful overall introduction to permaculture.
Martin Crawford gives really good information about what makes a food forest and how to grow one.