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Effective Vertical Usage.

 
gardener
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On a small-scale garden, vertical space is rarely a problem aside from perhaps shading considerations. When trying to use it in the broader sense of permaculture, such as the case of a food forest for example, how does one gain the benefits of the vertical space effectively. With climbing vines, it seems that it would be very easy for all the harvest you want to be well out of reach. Orchard ladders might help, but they wouldn't be as useful on uneven land like a hillside. Does anyone have insights and experience as to how one makes the most of vertical space on a larger permaculture scale without just waiting for foods and materials to drop on their own?
 
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For vertical space there are pole mounted harvesting tools, your feet can stay on terra firma and you can harvest your produce.
The easiest to find of these tools are for fruit harvesting but you can find others that instead of a basket looking harvesting end, have a gripper harvesting end.

Other than those tools or a scaffold, the ladder is the tool of choice in most places.

I have seen farms use trucks with folks standing up in the bed so they can reach higher and be moved along the rows.

Another method that works is to grow vertical on trellises that are bent so nothing is out of arms reach.
 
pollinator
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In smaller scale designs, you can try to keep the total height lower to mitigate these issues.

We use a three-legged orchard ladder extensively on sloped, uneven ground; that's kind of the main point of the 3-legged design, you can set it up to be stable on much more challenging terrain than a regular ladder....

Some up-high crops will come to you with time; nuts, cider apples... Or perhaps they come to your pigs, and then you eat the pigs....


I have seen farms use trucks with folks standing up in the bed so they can reach higher and be moved along the rows.


Love this from a time efficiency standpoint, since the truck is Right There to put the crops in. Not so great from the 'breathing fumes' and 'carbon footprint' standpoints, but an EV, or hybrid capable of pure EV mode at parking lot speeds, would be great for this use.
 
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Or you can plant bait crops vertically for birds that have no problems with harvesting it or your berry crops. But if the birds are distracted with the bait crop...
 
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