I was wondering what other people are using for plants in your food forest ( all layers), whether they are native, non-native or from other analog climates? Fruittrees seem pretty easy to pick out, not so much for the other layers:/
The soil I'm working with is super compacted, full of small rocks,and around 10% clay. So I am looking into plants that will help break up the soil.
A first question to ask about this site is what will be the commitment to irrigation? That climate won't support a full-on layered forest without it. The idea of the forest garden reflects a subtle bias towards well-watered systems. Mimicking the natural ecosystem, in this case, might be closer to a savannah.....scattered trees in grassland, or even desert scrub; except for riparian areas and other moister niches, or at high altitude. Fire danger is another reason to space plants out and avoid anything resembling a thicket; unless it's continuously kept lush with irrigation.
Even if you plan to irrigate, your first priority should be to "plant the rain" before you put in any permanent plants. I recommend Brad Lancaster's book "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands Volume 2" http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/
Maybe he went home and went to bed. And took this tiny ad with him:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove