Xisca Nicolas wrote:
What did you conclude (about how a forest garden is supposed to work)?
You’ll have to read my book for that
In short, the strategies are as diverse as the people.
what is different between a garden and a forest garden?
A forest garden is a specific type of garden. In a way I much prefer Dave Jacke’s term, “edible ecosystem”, which hints at the possibility of using other structures. But in the end the “forest” in FG is more a metaphor than an instruction – what we aim for is supposed to work like a natural ecosystem, but it doesn’t have to look like one. In that sense a forest garden is like any other permaculture garden, and combines well with many other ways of using small and medium sized spaces.
I want room for animals, so I see that if I want to cultivate just for me, I will have to fight all critters who want to eat too! And if we live on veggies and good fruits, well, we actually grow the most tender stuff, and they are good for other animals... After all, have a look at a cabage after the hen has eaten it.... she leaves the tough fiber and has eaten the most tender parts!
You can design a forage garden that priorities the animals, or a garden where you allow for both humans and other species to share the crops and ideally share some of the labour – chicken (and ducks even more so) are good for pest control and nutrient cycling. On a larger scale, there are many variants of silvopasture out there that combine trees with grazing animals and/or field crops.
If I grow and eat the animals, then I do not have to fight and prtect, I just eat the eaters.... just the surplus, and also I can leave more weeds and local grasses and plants. Usually they are ones that we cannot eat, and animals can.
That is part of the silvopasture approach, which you could also use on a smaller scale. Except that most people aren’t too keen on fresh animal manure in their domestic garden, and free range animals will poop wherever they like!
John Saltveit wrote:I give this book 8.5 out of 10 acorns.
There may be some terms that are unfamiliar to North Americans, such as tree onions and hedge garlic. There are also examples of places in which you may not understand the specific climatological challenges if you can’t place Devon from Shropshire or Dorset.
Cris Fellows wrote:I am pretty excited for this book, especially the 14 case studies. Tomas, any suggestions for thistle? We are overrun by it. Currently I pull and use as living mulch for the fruit trees. It does keep the neighborhood out of that area, which I guess is a plus!
Alissa Shannon wrote:Welcome Tomas! I think your book sounds very interesting based on the title. I love the idea of Forest gardens, but it's the whole design part that bogs me down! There are sooooo many variables (like height, light requirements, pH requirements, water needs, pest and disease assistance requirements, and etc.)! I hope I can learn to understand it all better in time.