I also wanted to ask you all about my food forest design with fruit, nut, and berry plants below my house. I placed my home site on a south-facing knoll. Below the house, I am going to be planting semi-dwarf fruit trees, hazels, and berries. My question is about the layout.
Should I plant early maturing fruit plants down the slope with the later maturing fruits upslope closer to the house? I cannot find the article, but I swore I read that a person(s) suggested this in case you would like to have chicken or duck tractors clean up fallen fruit. If the early maturing fruit was at the top of the hill and the poultry came through, their droppings would, in theory, wash downhill onto later maturing fallen fruit, contaminating them. So as the fruit matures, having the poultry tractors move upslope in unison with produce maturing would keep contamination low. What do you think about this concept and subsequent design?
I also want to add that I am planting the fruits and nuts according to the season maturity times so for example in row two all the produce ripens in July and in row three all ripen in August. This makes harvesting straightforward and so much simpler than walking all over trying to see what is ripe or not. In the future, I do want to have chickens and maybe ducks go through.
This will be a mixed planting, so this means that each row will be a mix of species but my focus is on ripening times.
Thanks for any opinions you could lend and would be even better if you had experience with this situation.