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Mediterranean Forest Garden List

 
Dennis Strk
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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Here's the tree and shrub level of a potential Mediterranean forest garden.

What would you add or remove?
What polycultures and guilds have proven to be successful?

Thanks.

Large Trees

Holm Oak
Chestnut
Walnut
Stone Pine
Carob
black locust
Italian Alder
 
Small Trees

Almond
Apple
Apricot
Peach
Plum
Cherry
Cornelian Cherry
Fig
Pomegranate
Judas Tree
Loquat
Quince
Hazelnut
Hackberry
Mulberry
Strawberry Tree
Persimmon
Laurel
Olive
Lemon
Orange
Linden
Medlar
Jujube
 
Shrubs

Siberian Pea Shrub
Goumi
Elaeganus x ebbingei
Sea Buckthorn
Mastic
Elderberry
Blackberry
Raspberry
Feijoa
Currants
Gooseberry
Rosehips
Prickly Pear
Saltbush
Buffaloberry
Winter Savory
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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what are your winter low temps?
 
Dennis Strk
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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Zones 8-9. A few days below 32 F. Mostly mild, wet winters.
 
Milan Broz
Posts: 87
Location: Croatia
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I found your list quite helpful for me also, it reminded me on some plants that I forgot to put on "maybe" list. From what I've red, chestnut is not highly recommended for forest garden cause it cast a heavy shade, and not many plants can grow below it. How you plan to deal with this, do you have any information that says different?

I was planing maybe to use it for north "wall" of forest garden, where I want a heavy shade for a driveway and a house.
 
Dennis Strk
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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Thanks for the info. I guess I would have to do the same. I am going to be in Portugal and Croatia this summer so I will see how they grow chestnuts there. I know they are all over the place in Portugal. My family is from Croatia and I don't think much chestnuts grow on the island where they are from.

Maybe the chestnuts could go in a north zone 4- zone 5 (permaculture zones, not climate zones) buffer zone. I would test groundnut, raspberry, and an evergreen eleaganus species under it. Or grow chestnuts with greater spacing like an alley crop system.
 
Milan Broz
Posts: 87
Location: Croatia
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Well, nice to hear, I'm a world traveler, and wherever I've been, I found some guy from Croatia, which is quite strange for a country with only 4mil population Sorry for OT.

You are right, there are no chestnuts on Croatian islands, but there is a large natural chestnut forest on the continental side, and some smaller chestnut forest on the north coast. Biggest difference in the climate from area without large trees and area covered with natural forest, including chestnut, is the water. Islands are quite dry, rocky, with very little soil covering rocks. Perfect place for olives and grape wines, but not for chestnuts. I hope water is not the problem at your place, not only for large trees, but specially for berries. They also do not do well on Croatian islands, but maybe some permaculturalist could change this also.

I'm curious, what are you going to use for a Holm oak? I guess for timber, but the acorns should also be eatable? I've eaten them as a child, and I'm just reading that it can be dried and grind into a flour. Also, it looks nice.

You place Black locust on list. It is a nice tree, nitrogen fixer, and even it is not listed as eatable, I can remember I've eaten a lot of flowers from it as a child, so this "uneatable claim" should also be rechecked, also I have to check if there are varieties that are eatable and uneatable. The reason why I didn't first consider this tree for my garden is because it's invasive, it creates suckers if tree is cut down. It is not just a belief, I've talked with older folks, they consider it as a pest and cut it whenever see it grows somewhere around the house. Now I'm thinking again if I should plant it, maybe if I don't cut it, it will grow as a regular tree. It is great nectar source for bees, and if man could eat this flowers, it would find it's use.

Italian alder (Alnus cordata) is for dry soils, common alder (Alnus glutinosa) is for wet soils. So what you have? In both cases, some of plants should be reconsidered. In dry soil, some berries would not taste well. In wet soil sweet cherry fruits tend to rot while still on tree, I have one and this problem in moist years. Sour cherry is much better for wet climate.

You placed Linden under small trees. It grows up to 30m (100'. Linden has a special place in Slavic legends and culture, as they lived in linden forests. When they populated new areas, they planted linden in front of their houses. According to legends, they believed that linden will protect them from fire. So far, I can find the only use (except huge shadow and huge lumber tree after 100-150 years) is making a tea from it's flowers. It's on my list for forest garden, but it is not very fixed. I would have plenty of herbs for tea anyway, so I would like to know some other use for linden.
 
Dennis Strk
Posts: 9
Location: NYC and Catskills
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I'm thinking of having Holm Oak as one of the more dominant and common trees in the forest garden. I know it casts a deep shade so it will need to be spaced and/or coppiced. This species has very edible acorns. The subspecies quercus ilex ballota (common in Portugal and Spain) can be eaten raw (from what I've read). It is a native tree that once covered Dalmatia. The wood is fantastic for firewood and useful as a hardwood.  I need to observe this summer what grows well with it.

I heard Italian alder should work well. I saw examples of it from Martin Crawford's book. I'd still like to try the black locust out, despite its invasiveness. It is just too good. Great, strong wood and firewood.

Blackberry already covers a lot of the island and does well. I'd probably add some rosa rugosa (what we call sipak).

Thanks for the folklore on linden. Very interesting. The linden would be coppiced. Martin Crawford says the young leaves make a great lettuce substitute. I have yet to try them, but it's worth a shot.

This Mediterranean plan right now is still theoretical. My experience is rather limited (a little gardening, WOOFing, and a PDC last summer in Maine). I live in NYC and I am creating two small backyard polyculture gardens this summer. I'll have more to say about that in a few months.
 
                            
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Hi, just a couple of ideas for species that like shade, so could grow on the ground level,  and are also yummy! rhubarb, alpine strawberries, wild garlic and goldenberry,  (although i have no experience of the latter, but it seems like it could do well and looks pretty tasty).

Dave
 
                                    
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Hi permies!

Great forum, just joined.

I am moving to Greece soon, a Mediterranean climate, to create a permaculture project and establish a large forest garden. I was wondering if anyone knew of:

a.) Any books on Permaculture and/or Forest Gardening for a Mediterranean climate (I have lots on a temperate climate!). An equivelant of Patrick Whitefield's Earth Care Manual, or Martin Crawford's Creating a Forest Garden, would be fantastic!

b.) Any online sources of information on a list of crops that can be grown there,  and/or their characteristics (ie nitrogen-fixing etc).

Thank you so much for your help!

Mark

(ps I posted this in other board also as I wasn't sure which was best, so moderator feel free to delete one if that's the rules, I wasn't sure if that was cool or not).
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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My God!  We are talking Mediterranean climate, and NOBODY has mentioned Avocado!
A delicious, nutritious crop with high resale value.
I , personally, would rip out orange trees to make room for avocados.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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John Polk wrote:

I , personally, would rip out orange trees to make room for avocados.



A very good calorie crop. 

I wish I could grow them - one of my favorite fruits!  (Much more than oranges, which I can take or leave)
 
duane hennon
gardener
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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hi Freeconomist

you might want to check out this guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aBVvRzU__Q
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Why not throw in some chaiyotes, nopales, runner beans, and capuli cheries.
 
                                    
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duane wrote:
hi Freeconomist

you might want to check out this guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aBVvRzU__Q


Thanks Duane! You've no idea how perfect that is, and there seems to be some other useful stuff linked to it.
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