Using Chickens to Plant a Food Forest

Geoff Lawton/Video screen capture

I've already posted a video in which Geoff Lawton introduces us to a 2000-year-old edible forest, and from the magic of soil care to keeping roosters in the suburbs, Lawton has introduced us to a myriad of ways we can help make our food systems a little more sustainable.

His latest video is no exception, literally walking us through a step-by-step process of how to plant your own food forest, using chickens to lend a hand.

First, says Lawton, you start with a grassy meadow.

Geoff Lawton/Video screen capture

Next, you set up an electric fence and a chicken coop on that meadow, allowing hens to roam freely and scratch up the ground. (We've posted on the notion of chicken tractors before.)

Geoff Lawton/Video screen capture

Once the chickens have done their thing, you end up with bare, scratched up earth (and a healthy dose of chicken shit), to which Lawton adds fruit trees, interplanted with ground-cover crops like field peas which he turns into mulch using the chop-n-drop mulching technique.

Geoff Lawton/Video screen capture

Eventually, in about ten years, says Lawton‐you end up with a fully mature, productive food forest that requires very little maintenance beyond harvesting. As luck would have it, he's got one to show us too.

This clip is just one part of a freely available online video offering tips for surviving economic and ecological crises sustainably.

Tags: Agriculture | Australia | Permaculture

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