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Creating a Food Forest – Step by Step Guide

 
William Horvath
Posts: 31
Location: Melbourne
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Hi everyone. I have been writing this post for a long time. After reading Edible Forest Gardens, Creating a Forest Garden, Holistic Orchard and other books I boiled down the info into small actionable steps.

I believe this would be a great resource for anyone just starting out like I am. The basic framework of setting up clear goals>>analasys & assesment>>design>>site preparation>>establishment is still the foundation, but I tried to break down a lot of information from the books into a simple blog post and throw in few of my ideas.

Here is just an outline of the post:

1. What do you want from your food forest?
2. Explore, Sit Quietly and Observe, Analyse
-Explore your local forest so you’ll have an idea what will grow best in your area
-Sit quietly and observe your site
-Do a site survey and make a basic map

3. Design – Create a layout and choose the plants
-Choose a general layout – orchard, woodland, savannah
-Start by outlaying your infrastructure first
-Make a list master list of plants you wish to grow
-Create guilds from your master list of plants
-Do a patch design – define your planting areas and plant spacing

4. Prepare the site
-Adapt your site if necessary
-Shape the earth to your advantage and maximise water retention
-Set up infrastructure and put down irrigation, pathways and fencing
-Build up your soil and improve the soil structure

5. Source the plants and start planting
-Start a nursery or buy plants – your choice
-Phase your project and plant in stages
-Finally put your plants in the ground

You can read the post here

Now, I'm not an expert but if you have any question I would be happy to give you my perspective on things. Let me know here in the thread or send me a PM.
 
Scott McBride
Posts: 14
Location: Foothills of Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, WA
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Great post ~ thanks for doing this work. Forest garden is one of my main focuses for our property (20 acres, 45 miles NE of Seattle).
 
duane hennon
gardener
Pie
Posts: 662
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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hi William,

nice list

my only comment is on #4
maximize water retention

maybe "optimize" water retention
some places can have too much water
 
Sally Munoz
Posts: 15
Location: SW Washington
duck forest garden fungi
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I've been working on my little forest garden in the PNW for 5 years now and have been reading a lot of books as well. I enjoyed your article very much. Thank you for sharing.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 368
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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I am busy changing my garden (front yard) step by step into a miniature food forest I am sure I can use these tips, thank you William.
 
William Horvath
Posts: 31
Location: Melbourne
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duane hennon wrote:

hi William,

nice list

my only comment is on #4
maximize water retention

maybe "optimize" water retention
some places can have too much water



Totally Agree. Thanks!
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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