duane hennon wrote:
does it have 7 layers or only 5?
your planting should be suitable to your site and tastes
I have found that trying to plant to closely doesn't work
here in cool and cloudy west pa
cloud cover is our canopy layer
I plant in beds with several layers (2-5, depending of what's growing)
but have wide pathways between them
to allow for sunlight and airflow
as cool and cloudy =damp = mold and slugs
volunteer ground covers are chopped and dropped
to maintain law and order
Su Ba wrote:Lori, two answers for you.......this applies to my own situation on my own homestead.
1- Does my food forest supply me with all my food? No. And I hope I never have to survive on just my food forest food. My forest is just one aspect of a quite varied homestead farm. By the way, my farm provides me with the means for 100% of our food. So yes, I do eat out of my food forest, but it's not the sole source of food.
Tropical soil leaches its nutrients when left to itself, so I'm always spreading mulches and compost to maintain fertility.
John Saltveit wrote:Hi Lori,
When I move trees, I carefully dig them up, and I only do it during our dormant rainy season (NOv-April). I don't have problems with them typically. I have moved a full grown orchard from one location to another.
Todd Parr wrote:I struggle with not planting too closely. When you start a food forest in a climate like I'm in, you have to keep things pretty far apart in order to keep canopies from touching when everything grows up. That means your food forest can look like a few trees planted in a pasture at first Otherwise, you can plant more closely, realizing you will have a lot of sacrificial trees later on. Already I have thing that are too close together. Now I'm trying to be much more conscious of my spacing, and I create guilds. I try to make sure that the canopies will not touch when the larger trees are full sized, and I fill in with things I can sacrifice later, which for me are things that I can seed or grow from cuttings from my existing trees. I have seaberry, which btw spreads like crazy, siberian pea shrub, and autumn olive, all of which are nitrogen fixers. They are easy to propagate from my own trees, so I don't feel as bad if I have to chop and drop them to clear some space. I also grow lots of comfrey so I plant it in all my guilds. If it gets shaded out later and can't survive, it isn't a loss because you get so much from it during it's life and it is super easy to propagate. When I design my guilds, I do them in a circle with the canopy tree in the middle, the bushes around that, the smaller things like comfrey around that, the herbs and pollinator plants around that. Other thing get stuck here and there where they fit. Because my guilds get shorter as they get farther from the middle, I will eventually connect the guilds and the smallest plants will be touching. This should leave plenty of room for light. It's important when you think of a food forest not to think of an actual forest with a closed canopy in temperate climates. The video Tyler posted explains it well, I just put this out as a little summary of the way I am approaching it.
Su Ba wrote:I'm with you when it comes to confusion. The photos I've seen of food forests tend to show lots of sun bathed plants with lots of speckled shade on the ground ranging to full sunny spots. I'm assuming that these food forests are young and were started on cleared land.
In contrast, my own food forest has non-food trees that range 20' to 50' with lots of full shade beneath them. I started out with a real forest full of big trees. Thus my own food forest project had to deal with lots of shade from the very beginning.
I'm in the tropics and our sun doesn't penetrate the forest trees, except where there is a break in the trees or along the forest margins. As a result, I'm limited as to what such a forest can produce in the way of edibles.
Avocado. Grows tall and can compete with the other trees.
John Saltveit wrote:Hello Lori,
I believe that what will be most productive for most people in a temperate forest is an open forest. I have sun in between the trees.
I have raised beds for traditional vegetables
I grow different root vegies like sunchoke, skirret, earth chestnut, salsify and scorzonera in between. I used to grow potatoes, but now my wife grows them, beets, turnips, etc.