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Food Forest

Plant Wild forests in circles. Make a bed of 2.5m diameter. Put a big tree (ideally food or fodder tree) in the middle for shade and wind protection. Plant medium trees in the rest of the circle, plant climbers like cucumbers to climb up the tree, plant pumpkins etc on the outside so they have space to grow out and they will fix nitrogen

This is an incredible natural food forest grown in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India

Food Forest

Here are some common combinations which we will try:

Rain fed Forest

Use a high growing legume (nitrogen fixer) and grow it like a large umbrella, then plant everything else underneath (like Klettgras under a Camelthorn). Our Acacias are Legumes – so we can use all of them. Perhaps use fast growing ones like the Apies doring.

We should also plant a lot of big trees in rows across the landscape – species which can survive and thrive over time and grow fast – these rows will influence the wind which will in turn create more rainfall. (Would be an interesting experiment :))

We can use tree planting water pots (pots holding a years supply of water, 16 Litres. See the Groasis Waterboxx ) to establish these trees without irrigation pipes.

You should not grow root crops in greywater reed beds – but you can grow leaf crops.

Desert food forest chop n drop – coppicing to increase yield by building soil.

We protect our young trees with a tree shelter such as those from Tubex.

Drip Irrigated Forest

Some forests guilds may thrive but we will need to “seed” them with drip irrigation so that the trees can establish themselves.

How about Apiesdoring, Sweetpotato?

Greywater Forest

Our more productive forests will likely need more water. These can be established close to greywater or blackwater reed beds or gravel pits. As the forest gets established we can grow them out from there. Can we grow coffee here?? We could get 40kg of coffee per tree…lets try!!

Designing the food forest;

When designing Food forests, consider the physical layers (7 layers) and the time stack (so you have fast growing nitrogen fixing ground covers first, then shrubs, bushes, small trees then large trees and you end up with permanent nitrogen fixer as climax. You will have the time layers at the edge of the forest where you keep growing it outward.

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