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Food Forest by growing zone project

 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 478
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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In some zones there is a lot of choice regarding what can be grown, others are relatively restricted. It would be nice if those with experience/knowledge would help get everyone started with guilds for each growing zone.
 
Roberto pokachinni
Posts: 677
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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From what I understand, in regards to most orchards in most climates, the whole guild thing is pretty much a new science, and is needing input from people like you who go out and do it by trial if not error. That said, there are likely some people who are or have done some guild experiments in your zone, if that is what you are looking for, or are you looking to be the personal driving engine (through this thread) behind building a data base?
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 621
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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I used to think in terms of guilds but honestly... that's mostly something for small spaces.

I rather prefer an open spaced orchard [possibly patches of orchard hedged off amidst pasture] with a rich and diverse understory of whatever grows well.

It's only affordable by seed though, for the understory anyway.
 
Max Kennedy
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Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:From what I understand, in regards to most orchards in most climates, the whole guild thing is pretty much a new science, and is needing input from people like you who go out and do it by trial if not error. That said, there are likely some people who are or have done some guild experiments in your zone, if that is what you are looking for, or are you looking to be the personal driving engine (through this thread) behind building a data base?


Both. There must be a state of knowledge already out there that will give everyone a starting point then we work on it to improve the state of knowledge.
 
Roberto pokachinni
Posts: 677
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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bike books food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees woodworking
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My personal plan will involve a bit of 'what do the experts say on this', but a great deal of what I do, and will do, is based on my intuition and personal observations. There are very few plants that have serious compatibility issues. Avoiding these is pretty easy, and for the most part it will be obvious if something is not thriving and the option is always there to transplant it with care. I will just try to create a forest that has as many levels or zones as possible. I go for diversity and edge effect in every way that I can conceive of them. How can I achieve these two things, while giving all plants the optimum potential to gain water, sunlight, and nutrients? Hmmm. How can I create synergistic wholes by assembling desired species? When it comes down to it, I think of this tree and say that if I was this shrub, how might I best relate to this tree with the most benefits? How would this herbaceous flower best relate to this shrub and tree? How about this herb? Will a nearby hugulkultur or pond benefit this guild? Can I fit a annual hugulkultur bed in this area between these two guild clusters? If I was to transition that hugulkultur to perennials, what would be the best plants to establish there long term? By asking myself questions and sitting with plants and observing what they seem to want in order to thrive, I hope to be able to make these assemblages mostly on my own.

I do hope that, for the sake of your needs, there are some people who do chime in on what they have planted with what.
 
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