Friday, October 21, 2011

How To Make a Forest Garden, part three


This is the third part of a three part essay on how to get started in forest gardening (read part one and part two). For those unfamiliar with the concept, I would suggest reading my Introduction to Forest Gardening.

Check out these organizations and websites for more information on forest gardening, including ideas for what trees, shrubs and other plants may be suitable for your forest garden.

Agroforestry Research Trust - The world's leading temperate forest garden research institution. Excellent publications, including Agroforestry News.

American Bamboo Society - Amateur and professional bamboo enthusiasts.

American Chestnut Foundation - The American Chestnut Foundation is working to restore the American chestnut tree to its native range within the woodlands of the eastern United States.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How To Make a Forest Garden, part two


This is the second part of a three part essay on how to get started in forest gardening (read part one by clicking here). For those unfamiliar with the concept, I would suggest reading my Introduction to Forest Gardening.

The Shrub Layer

In part one, we examined the canopy and understory layers of a forest garden. The next layer to consider is the shrub layer. Most shrubs can tolerate shade, and can do well planted beneath larger trees of the canopy and understory layers. Here are some ideas for plants in the shrub layer:

Friday, October 14, 2011

How To Make a Forest Garden, part one


Forest gardening is a type of permaculture in which trees and other plants are grown for food, fuel, fiber, medicine and other resources in a method that mimics a forest ecosystem. The advantages of forest gardening include extreme productivity, relatively low maintenance requirements, and the fact that it does not require inputs of artificial fertilizers, pesticides or other chemicals. Forest gardening can be done by anyone with even a small plot of land. See my Introduction to Forest Gardening article for more on the general concept.

How To Make a Forest Garden, part one

Once started, a forest garden can be relatively low-maintenance, but it does take some planning to get there. Your approach to the design of your particular forest garden will be affected by the current state of the land you are using: