Food Forest: A Garden WithTrees

Two dimensional gardens are so last season. It's time to use space wisely, and think 3D. Trees are often left out of the garden picture, if they are there are at all it is usually because they were there in the first place. But, as Toby Hemenway points out in a great article on the subject:

"Trees have an unmatched ability to produce soil-enriching leaf litter, fill the earth with humus-making roots, quell temperature swings, hold moisture, arrest erosion, and offer tiers of wildlife habitat. And you can't beat trees for productivity. An acre of apple trees can yield 7 tons of fruit, and an acre of chestnut trees may offer up 10 tons of protein-rich nuts--without annual replanting."

Whether you call it a food forest or an edible forest garden, the benefits of gardening with trees should be considered, and the Edible Forest Garden Website suggests the primary goals a forest garden can help you achieve are:

* High yields of diverse products such as food, fuel, fiber, fodder,
fertilizer, 'farmaceuticals' and fun;
* A largely self-maintaining garden and;
* A healthy ecosystem

As winter rolls in it’s time to start strategizing the new plantings for the spring. While I'm considering which trees to plant in my little plot of land, I look forward to Toby's article next month which promises a little DIY instruction for creating your own Food Forest.::The Columbian :: Edible Forest Gardens

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