A couple of years ago I began the planning phases of a tropical food forest garden. I could blame it on work, busyness, or on a hurricane or two, but basically, I haven't gotten to the execution phase yet.
BUT, I have though A LOT about what kind of forest I want to build. One factor in my thinking is what kind of crops I want to sell. Trees are incredibly prolific, way beyond what the average family can consume, so I've thought to design my forest around a few systems that I may be able to turn a profit from. In particular, I'm interested in a few value-added products with processes that the farm could be organized around.
For example, I have dozens of mango trees already, so I've been learning how to dehydrate fruit in hopes of selling them. Cacao is also popular in our region, so I hope to plant a few dozen of those and process them in house. The actual "food" from this food forest would be interspersed throughout the understory, rhizome layer, and shrubbery.
Is anyone else doing this successfully? If so, what does your system look like?
Dooley Tunner wrote:Some farms I visited in Ecuador were growing coffee, bananas, citrus, avocados all together in a food jungle. The coffee and bananas seemed to be the main sales crop.
Thanks Dooley. I have a ton of examples like that to work with, but I'm looking for a model that creates symbiotic relationships at all levels of the forest system. Co-cropping is one thing, and can be a good thing. But it is not necessarily a self-sustainable food forest system. That's what I'm looking for.
If you want it to be profitable probably going to have to manage it and plant species that are a little bit more out of place than you want. I am in temperate zone 5 and have yet to see any profitable food forest.
Ray Moses wrote: If you want it to be profitable probably going to have to manage it and plant species that are a little bit more out of place than you want. I am in temperate zone 5 and have yet to see any profitable food forest.