I have been doing lots of reading, and this is my first post! Very excited to be digging through the wealth of knowledge here!
I am currently living in Alaska, but my husband and I purchased 4 acres across from my in-laws last summer, in Northern Missouri. We are planning on homesteading there in about 6 years once we can be partially (or completely) financially independent and leave our 9-5.
Since we have a bit of time before we can move, I wanted to get a head start with some trees. We are visiting in May/June, and we have already order some tree seedlings through the state department of conservation. In hindsight, I wish I had researched just a bit more before placing the order, but the cost is so low, it is not significant at this point. We got spruce, pines, Eastern redbuds, and black walnuts. We tried to get pawpaws, but they sold out.
I have read a ton about black walnuts and the problematic jugulone; all the posts I have found deal mostly with trying to work around an established black walnut. I have not seen anything about intentionally planting a black walnut as the canopy of a food forest and am second guessing my choices.
My concern is that I will be creating an issue that may or may not be worth the hassle in dealing with the jugulone, as I intend to have lots of other fruit bearing trees that do not tolerate it, and 4 acres may or may not be enough space for a black walnut centered food forest.
Assuming I decide to go ahead with the plan, I would have walnut as the canopy, with pawpaws under (maybe in a few years, when the walnut can provide a bit of shade), pink currants, black raspberry, and fiddlehead ferns, all of which are tolerant (to what extent, I am not sure) or jugulone.
From my understanding, the jugulone will increase in reach and strength as the tree grows; I do not want to have to remove the pawpaws later because the jugulone has become too much. Does anyone have experience with mature walnut/pawpaw combinations? They both have taproots, so I think this would prevent much of the competition for nutrients and possibly be a great combination.