this chapter ... summarizes the design and management ideas arising from the ecological analysis of volume 1 in a pattern more directly appropriate to the needs of garden designers and managers.
Many things we currently think of as 'maintenance' issues are actually system design issues.'
weeds also come into play in managing succession, but the intention is different. Rather than setting succession back as an unconscious result of weeding, we look at the question of how we direct the succession where we want it to go, and what roles weeds play in that process
The existing vegetation holds many clues to help us design effective polycultures, so we need in-depth understanding of it as well. ... clearly articulating our specific goals is a necessary first step.
Coevolution with your forest garden is a long-term process. It includes our learning from and refining our forest gardens, as well as breeding and selecting new varieties. It is possible to design this coevolutionary process to some degree. Plant breeding and selection benefit from conscious design, as do personal and group learning.
Everything we do in the forest garden is designed to create healthy plants.
The forest-gardening approach to fertility emphasizes strategies employed in the design phase that should reduce the need for work and expensive inputs later on down the line.
If the soil is in rough shape, yearly additions of compost might make sense until the plants get well established and serious nutrient cycling and conservation get going in the ecosystem. ... It can take five to seven years, or more, for forest gardens to firmly establish their own nutrient cycles However, with good design using fertility-building plants, the garden will get there eventually, making is own compost every year with no effort on your part.