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closed canopy gardening - the path to a food forest

 
paul wheaton
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Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski shows off what he calls "closed canopy gardening" - the idea is to reduce the amount of sun that reaches the soil.  You can hardly see the paths.  This is an early phase for a food forest or for agro forestry.



As part of his presentation, he talks a little about:  gooseberries, squash, (thornless) honey locust, calendula, mulberry, lovage, worm seed, peppers, dill, leeks, horseradish, asparagus, garlic chives, columbine, echincacia, pole beans, summer savory, lavendar, hissop, potatoes, burdock, grape, teasel, raspberries, black currants, chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), hissop, erronia berry, radish, eastern black cherry, blue elderberry, silverberry, nitrogen fixing, seeds, seed pods, mulch, organic matter, photosynthesis, roots, plants, berries, fruit, bee forage, insect forage, trees, shrubs, wild crafting, legumes and thorns.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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Thanks Paul 

This will be interesting since part of my property is closed canopy.
 
Gary Park
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Location: St. Louis, MO
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I like this idea...seems like my gardens always end up that way anyway since I neglect them when I get busy in the summer.  I guess the key is PLANNING for that neglect, so that the plants can work together as they grow over each other.  Especially liked the end--hilarious!
 
Brian Bales
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Very interesting to see a "wild" garden. I really need to go see this place in person sometime!
 
Jorja Hernandez
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Oh yeah, I've gotten that result unintentionally too, but I liked it. Good to see it's also worth doing on purpose.

At our place I'll be carrying a nice long stick as a rattlesnake detector though - made me nervous watching him stick his hands into that stuff without a snake-check.
 
                    
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Location: Bainbridge, Wa
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Wow GREAT video, i hope to be that cool of an old guy when i get there.
I want to meet this skeeter, he aught to come help chuck on BI with plant layout and design! wink wink

Good vid
 
Brenda Groth
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interesting,but I'll admit what I found most intersting was that he had this closed canopy lower garden, but when you look in the video behind him, he has grass growing under his orchard trees..which is a real no no for health of the fruit trees..which I found amazingly contrary to his video..(or was it just me?)
 
Jordan Lowery
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nice video, i love skeeter hes awesome.
 
Jorja Hernandez
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Brenda Groth wrote:
interesting,but I'll admit what I found most intersting was that he had this closed canopy lower garden, but when you look in the video behind him, he has grass growing under his orchard trees..which is a real no no for health of the fruit trees..which I found amazingly contrary to his video..(or was it just me?)


That one gave me a WTF moment too but I'll bet that's a neighbor's orchard, don't you think?
 
Tyler Ludens
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That's how I want my garden to look eventually! 
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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Well, took nearly 18 hours to download and it was utterly different then I thought / hoped it would be based on the title.  At first my mind was saying, "this is simply biointensive planting." However, I then realized it was more about how to create his food forest and we are seeing it in its infancy...  kind of like a video of what Robert Hart did more then 30 years ago.

I totally enjoyed the video, and I look forward to seeing it more develeoped in the future.
 
Charlie Michaels
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Where does skeeter live? Any way I can visit and learn from the master?
 
                                      
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interesting,but I'll admit what I found most intersting was that he had this closed canopy lower garden, but when you look in the video behind him, he has grass growing under his orchard trees..which is a real no no for health of the fruit trees..which I found amazingly contrary to his video..(or was it just me?)

mee too, i was puzzled.

it múst be his neighbors orchard...?
 
                            
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Skeeter gives assorted seminars and conferences throughout the year. I just checked his website and it doesn't look like his 2011 schedule is posted yet.

I have no idea what is going on with the fruit trees... BUT.... it is not unheard of for Skeeter to "develop" an area, then sell to someone else. Sunny Pine Farm is one of those, here's a link to one on youtube that he's done that wit.

 
Suzy Bean
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Hey folks! Just put up a Michael Pilarski page at appropedia.com. Feel free to add to this! http://www.appropedia.org/Michael_Pilarski
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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After watching this video I feel as if I have too few plants in the forest garden. 
I planted semi dwarf tree's a recommended spacing like robert hart suggests.  Michael's suggestions are very interesting though.  I saw a few more of his videos on youtube and it's amazing what he has accomplished.  He has neat idea's about planting multiple plum plants together and spacing things much closer than one would think. 
 
Leif Kravis
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Location: Toronto Canada
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love that Skeeter
 
Tyler Ludens
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In my experience the less sun reaching the soil the better the plants grow. In my garden, plants in clumps or groves grow much better than isolated plants.

In my new food forest experiments I'm trying to develop a low canopy under a high canopy. The areas under the denser canopy of elms are growing much better than the exposed patch under the nearly non-existent canopy of dead oak trees.

The closer to the equator, probably, the denser the canopy the better.
 
Jane Reed
Posts: 39
Location: Fair Play, California
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That is one heck of a fence around Mr. Pilarski's garden. I imagine he needs to keep deer out, just as I do. What part of the world does he live in?
 
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