I have a food forest that is about 15 years old on 1/4 acre in the suburbs. No animals. Most of the guilds are around mature, producing fruittrees: quince, black mulberry, medlar, apple, pie cherry, sweet cherry, hawthorn, autumn olive, fig, pineapple guava, Shipova, aronia, pear.. I have many self seeding and perennial vegetables, mostly leafies. Lots of flowers, native and otherwise,vines, and nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators in between. Several smaller trees that will be growing up: Walnut, pawpaw, American and Asian persimmon. Many berry bushes. Most of my work involves harvesting the food, but I also graft quite a bit. Each year I get several new varieties of fruit that I get to eat for the first time.
Okay John, now we want to see pictures of yours. You are in Oregon? Would you elaborate on your guilds? I am still fuzzy on that one. On one, I planted yarrow, sweet potato/yam, Artichoke. Another, I have comfrey, and geraniums and bulbs around a circle (drip line), some I have flowers, chives, nasturtium. last fall, I planted lava beans all around and am thinking of doing that again.
I don't have any pictures. I am not too great at the technology thing. I'm too busy growing food.
In the really sunny areas, I have grapes around the trees and hardy kiwis, evening primrose around one, parsley, trifoliate orange,silverberry, comfrey, Jasmine, several flower perennials-gaillardia, bulbs that flower early and then sink, iris, red hot poker, delospermum (succulent), cactus, rose of sharon, crocosmia, palms, wolf berry, aronia, black-eyed susan, seaberry, ichang lemon and artichoke. PLus annual vegetable seed crops.
As we get into part shade to say 5 hours of sun, I mix in fat hen/Good king henry, sanguisorba minor (burnet salad), dandelions, shasta daisy, plaintain , black salsify -scorzonera, French sorrel, rugosa roses, horse radish (for leaf as well as root), sprinkled through self seeding curly mallow, swiss chard, flowering quince thorny bush, native lonicera honeysuckle vine, bellflower, red, black and Crandall currant, gooseberry, native myrtlewood, blueberries, huckleberries, thornless blackberries, himalayan honeysuckle berries, leeks, and horse tail.
In the mostly shady areas, I grow thornless blackberries, cornus mas Cornelian cherry, horsetail, native swamp crabapple, willow, dandelions, red and black currants, and mints.
I try to get some diversity in there. I pack it in like nature.
Thank you so much, John. Lot of what you mentioned grows here as well. Do you, by chance, have some King Henry Seeds? I have been looking for some. If you do, I am happy to send you a self addressed envelope and if you wish, some $...............
I've been slowly but persistently working on my Bermuda grass infested lawn, converting it to a food forest. The two part video is full of photos and musings that show it off and detail some of my observations and shenanigans with a soundtrack of some tunes I'm working on. It is a bit on the "odd" side. I talk to bugs. Although I wouldn't call it a forest at this point, that certainly is the goal. A micro forest. It's starting to work, there's always something to nibble on out there. I'm on a corner property in an urban environment. I'm concentrating most of my efforts on the outside of the property for the sake of the neighbors. I'm finding that most of them are supportive when they figure out that they can pick fruit on their walks. Grapes, kiwis, passion fruit, nanking cherries, eleagnus, strawberries, jujube, figs, goji berries, and blackberries, edge the property line. I try to make sure that something is always in bloom for the bugs and the old ladies. Flowers are great camouflage for unorthodox gardening techniques. My rationale is that if it's fun for folks they're not likely to report me to the authorities. I've had a couple of run ins so far. Every year the garden looks better and yields more.
In some areas I intensely manage soil quality, but I only have so much time and I'm purposely limiting my input budget. In other areas I'm developing techniques using weedy plants to compete with the Bermuda that also build bio mass that my worms convert into good stuff. For example, I've noticed that cardoons are really easy to get going in poor soil. If allowed to seed they do spread and they are perennial. They create an impenetrable shade ring and yield food and biomass.
I am in So Cal as well and spend about $100 a month. That is in the summer - July and august. Is yours water bill all year round that low? How do you do it? - especially with so many pots. They seem to dry out fast......
I have a small not even two years old forest garden on a small urban lot. I am not sure I would ever really classify it as a forest garden given it's size and ability to ever be self sustaining in a closed loop. I have manage this year to only use the city water a few times in August and the rest of the time I manage to have enough water in my rain barrel to water. I should note that I do not have any mulch yet (Octobers project) and the ground cover I planned are still young and just taking off.
I think it is possible to use little to no water which you have to pay for.
I am planning one in the moment and will do more in the future, which will be quite big (15 acres in a mild, rainy temperate zone 9 tio work with). I will post updates in the future (as in months if not more hehe) when I have more concrete design and photos of results.
Why work hard when god made so many mongongo nuts? - !Kung
The notion that man must dominate nature emerges directly from the domination of man by man - Murray Bookchin
C'est drôle comme les gens qui se croient instruits éprouvent le besoin de faire chier le monde.-Boris Vian
El hombre es la naturaleza que toma conciencia de sí misma -Elisée Reclus
I will suppress my every urge. But not this shameless plug:
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