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Old 01-09-2017, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Constitutional USA, zn.8A
685 posts, read 199,109 times
Reputation: 538

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We know that during the 1st. half of the last century the societal landscape of most of the continental U.S., or for that matter the world, was still rural - incld. Europe, where I was raised. Nestled in mountains, were 1000's of small villages with a main street lined with stone houses, all of the rest of the land were farms & gardens. - As a much smaller child, I recall asking grampa once "What makes our garden (it was less than 1/2 mile from the nearest forest) different than the woods ?". He knew i asked that because we went to harvest mushrooms, & berries, etc. in it occasionally, so he said "We have more flowers, & many more kinds of berries, & fewer trees, & too the forest takes care of itself" <-what ? I quite liked that last part. Imagine it: Picture yourself in a forest where almost everything around you is food. A garden that for the most part grows self-renewing, self-fertilizing, & self-maintenance because plants are self-renewing perennials or self-sowing annuals, with almost no interference from us.
well,
then got transplanted into the U.S., where grampa's Eden explanation got side-lined for way too long, while i was trying to flourish here. So consider now, further back in history, & even today still thrive "food Forest(s)", see http://permaculturenews.org/2011/10/...-food-forests/ . Sigh, that seemed lots more complicated than at 1st. thought, but to create a fully functioning forest garden is DOable as long as you have enough space for larger trees, plus using Companion perennial multipurpose plants intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a more or less 'woodland habitat' in a 7-layer scenario:
1. High tree canopy - like maybe a tall nut tree, or Mulberries
2. shorter trees - like maybe apples & pears
3. climbers - like hardy Kiwis
4. shrubs - like Hazelnuts, & soft-fruit bushes,
5. ground cover - like herbs & strawberries
6. rhizosphere - like nitrogen fixing comfrey and Siberian pea
7. root crops - like maybe carrots, & native wildflowers
objecting,
most people would say: yeah well, Hurrah ! for those with 2 - 10 acres, like for instance:
a 10 acre Forested or https://blogs.uw.edu/gonzalsa/2016/0...a-food-forest/ or
Thriving 23-Year-Old Permaculture Food Forest - Happen Films
eventually
simply family-gardens, became more community-gardens, then Pea-patches, &
out of staggering economic necessities since 2008, now are 40+ such "food forest gardens" much smaller than an acre,
also here Map – Community Food Forests and best of all instead of back-breaking labor, it is intended to be fun...
Further resources: The Natural Farmer: Spring 2002: Edible Forest Gardens - an Invitation to Adventure

All the above to say that "food-foresting" I too want to make good use of, already having 40+ useful plants at varying levels of development. so Please join this discussion Thank you!

Last edited by 2 rainbows; 01-09-2017 at 01:31 PM.. Reason: exchanged sites
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:58 PM
 
1,268 posts, read 614,905 times
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very interesting. sounds somewhat like what I believe is sometimes called "inter-cropping" which often involves a row of fruit or nut trees interspaced with "row crops". the potential problem with using some tall nut trees like walnuts could be that there is at least the possibility of either general root competition or shading from the larger trees on the understory or "poisonous" chemicals from the walnut roots that MIGHT inhibit the growth of other plants. many of the herbal plants like thyme and rosemary are sun lovers and would not be happy with too much over story. that said, sounds like lots of possibilities and opportunities with the right conditions, the right plants, and the right amount of space. good luck.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Constitutional USA, zn.8A
685 posts, read 199,109 times
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oh boy that OP was one looong post.
for starters,
about the only plants we don't have yet, are those TALL/canopy trees, & not for lack of space either.
Could easily fit over 4 here, but birds will laugh at us not having wings... to fly to the top. They would come in droves... to eat all nuts & fruits. Sure sharing with wildlife is good, but they don't know when to Stop , & at over 10 feet, you can no longer "net" a tree; - but If you keep pruning, & Pruning... to keep trees to a manageable size, you lose the TALL-canopy purpose.
So hesitate to even get started with that layer. And then there's the question of too much shade;
where now (after we took down the laurels & other trees, both HUGE & invasive!), we have no shade.
Also there will be NO 'walnut' trees for obvious reason, period.

Another question: Since TALL/canopy trees need time to grow that tall, how... does one lay-out/Design the rest of the "forest". Suggestions?

Sad (still potted ) plants waiting to be planted in their most Adventagous place:
Fig trees, Filberts & Hazelnuts, 4+ Apple trees, Asian pears,
Kiwi-vines, & Grape-vines,
Berry-bushes: Blue, Rasp, Currants, Goose, & a ton of others,
Herbs, comfrey & strawberries,
Root crops, & a gazillion other veggies
plus
100's of flowering plants (many won Blue-ribbons at State-fair), but this month most died

Again, any suggestions on how to lay-out a food-forest using the above plants?
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Constitutional USA, zn.8A
685 posts, read 199,109 times
Reputation: 538
Have you ever seen a forest with "rows" ? Nope, no such thing exists.

Rather, I invite you to read that Article again, this one: http://permaculturenews.org/2011/10/...-food-forests/ .
It explains it simply (much better than me), complete with the Picture...
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:23 PM
 
1,268 posts, read 614,905 times
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since most of the fruit trees (and most of the traditional berries, too) really need lots of sun to do their best I would suggest you might consider not planting them too close to the taller trees in rows or otherwise. tall trees of any sort might best be used as wind-breaks/shelter plantings and kept a fair distance (50') from the smaller stuff. chestnuts (especially European/Asian hybrids) can do well in the PNW and you might consider them in your large tree plantings they MIGHT be better adapted (if you are indeed in the area) and might also be quicker to come into fruit production and need somewhat less heat units to bear than some walnuts and hickory???


for best use of space and easier planting and harvesting you may have to stick with "a forest planted in rows" and maybe end up with even more of a traditional orchard look of low trees in a clearing surrounded by taller trees.


my two bits and hopefully more experienced and wiser folks will chime in with more and better suggestions.


good luck.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
16,128 posts, read 11,704,729 times
Reputation: 70207
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 rainbows View Post
Have you ever seen a forest with "rows" ? Nope, no such thing exists.

Rather, I invite you to read that Article again, this one: http://permaculturenews.org/2011/10/...-food-forests/ .
It explains it simply (much better than me), complete with the Picture...

Yes! Northern Florida is loaded with forests in rows. Yeah, it does exist. Entire forests in rows.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:07 PM
 
1,268 posts, read 614,905 times
Reputation: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainroosty View Post


Yes! Northern Florida is loaded with forests in rows. Yeah, it does exist. Entire forests in rows.
aka "plantation forests" mostly of "southern pine" species like loblolly. longleaf, and slash pines I would imagine?
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Constitutional USA, zn.8A
685 posts, read 199,109 times
Reputation: 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgeinbandonoregon View Post
aka "plantation forests" mostly of "southern pine" species like loblolly. longleaf, and slash pines I would imagine?
ok technically I stand corrected. But all those ^ trees most likely are unusable in a >FOOD-forest<;
thus off-topic.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:25 PM
 
1,268 posts, read 614,905 times
Reputation: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 rainbows View Post
ok technically I stand corrected. But all those ^ trees most likely are unusable in a >FOOD-forest<;
thus off-topic.

yes, of course, I was simply replying to the person ("rainroosty") who was talking about the commercial/plantation pine forests grown in rows in Florida and NOT to your posts. he brought this particular topic up and I merely indicated that I understood the particular situation he was referring to (I studied forestry in college many moons ago and an overview of these kind of forests were a part of the curriculum).


peace.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 01-09-2017 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Floribama
11,917 posts, read 26,957,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainroosty View Post



Yes! Northern Florida is loaded with forests in rows. Yeah, it does exist. Entire forests in rows.
Those aren't really forests, they're pine tree farms (mostly Slash or Loblolly), with very little diversity in the understory. The real forests were cut down over a century ago, it's the same way here in south Alabama.

Visit Blackwater River State Park sometime and you'll see what a real natural pine forest looks like. I have a book by William Bartram and he described visiting Florida back in the 1800's and seeing groves of citrus growing beneath the pines, at the time he thought they were naturally occurring, but they were actually planted.
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