food forests

A food forest is a permaculture zone-2 growing system that mimics the structure of a natural forest. It’s made from a variety of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials grown together in many different layers.

The main water strategy of a food forest is swales. They help to capture and soak runoff water into the ground, improve groundwater recharge, and establish trees and other plants.

They also determine the overall layout of the food forest, which has no uniform rows since the layout follows natural contour lines.

Trees, shrubs, and perennials are planted on the swale mound (berm), or the downhill side of the swale, so they can take advantage the soil moisture.

Note that a food forest is different to a permaculture orchard in two main ways; there’s much more plant diversity and there are no uniform rows.

A decision-making model to decide whether or not you should use swales in your desired growing area.

Instructions on how to make a selection of plants you’ll grow in your food forest.

Detailed design guide on creating a layout of food forest with swales .


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