Hi Gilad, looks like you've made some good headway, I like the tweaked center portion.
In your most recent version, the tiny triangular bed in the lower right with the single keyhole path into it... that is a pretty much perfect use of this concept in my opinion. Yet, can you not remove the perimeter path around the outer edge? Or is it needed to access something not shown?
Have you considered starting to design from the outer edge of the lot, allowing enough space there to use the perimeter of the lot for something, and then placing paths as you work in towards the center?
Although the outer path for both the circle and the lot perimeter is narrow, it still accesses plant-space on only one side for a much of its length. Often people will plant berries or vines around the edge/on the fence;
I prefer to put these where I can harvest both sides, away from the deer on the far side of the fence, but this is down to individual circumstance and taste.
If you want to continue iterating in search of an ideal fit, you could also try a leaf pattern, and see how you like the results.
Finally, I would advise against being over-zealous when narrowing paths; I have seen plenty of people plan very tight beds, and then find the results space frustrating to work in. Plants get stepped on, more time is spent being extra careful... I have certainly been guilty of this myself. I now try to allow more generous paths, in the belief that if they prove excessive, it is easy to allow the perennial plantings to encroach on the paths, or to slightly expand the annual plantings next year. I like this better than the alternatives of relocating perennials, or being forced to keep them overly small, or stepping on annuals..
Dan Boone wrote:The permaculture design books and study materials go on for endless chapters with detailed solutions to this basic problem, complete with geometry and equations. A ruthless condensation of that tedious wisdom -- most of which I confess I do not yet understand -- seems to boil down to:
1) Edges. Shape your forest patches so that light comes in from the exterior edges or in through planned clearings.
2) Tree spacing. A mature wild forest has an interlocked canopy that admits very little sun. You'll want to plant your trees further apart than that.
3) Choice of canopy trees. Some trees let in more sunshine between the leaves than others.
4) Shade tolerance in the understory plants. Plants lower in the layers need to be chosen for their ability to tolerate less than full sunshine.
Hope this helps!
Peter Ellis wrote:The tall trees take care of themselves on the sunlight issue. Shorter trees come in a couple of varieties - early succession type stuff that wants lots of sun and dies well at reclaiming open ground for forests, and the types that are adapted to growing under the canopy of the taller trees.
When planning out a food forest, you want to have in mind which kind ofnshorter trees you are working with and where you are planning to place them. If they need lots of sun, you probably want them on the edges. If they are understory trees by nature, then they should be fine in the interior.
There are also considerations for how dense is the shade from your overstory trees. Some are much more, or less, effective at blocking sunlight.
Plotting sun angles, figuring out placement to manage where how much shade falls and which plants to position in which shade levels. All parts of the puzzle of designing a food forest.
But, when it comes to the understory trees, you want to pick trees that like those shaded conditions. There definitely are such trees. Pawpaw leaps to mind, the young trees can be killed off by too much sun.