Food Forests are modeled on a natural woodland forest system, except they are tailored to serve the purpose of providing our needs in this case food! They mimic the way forests functions as self regulating systems. With a little help from us we can nurture and guide them to create abundant organic life giving systems.
A Food Forest can serve to replace or enhance the notion of a traditional backyard or larger scale orchard.
They typically consist of the 7 layers found in a natural forest:
1 – Canopy tree, the large over story
These can be a nitrogen fixing deep rooted nurse tree, providing mid summer shade. Preferably loosing its leaves during winter or chop and dropped at this time, and Large Fruit trees.
2 – Middle story; medium size trees Including the Dwarf fruit trees,
3 – Lower shrub level, small trees including Blueberry, Gogi berry, Chilean guava.
4 – Herbaceous level including Comfrey, Mint, Lavender, Rosemary, Yarrow.
5 – Rhizosphere, Root vegetables
6 – Ground Covers These protect the mulch and soil from drying out too much and certain species can fix nitrogen. Pumpkin, Nasturtium, Strawberry, Warrigal Greens.
7 – Vertical Layer Passionfruit, Kiwi fruit, Yam, Grape, Choko
8 – Fungal Layer This is the network that connects the trees.