A forest garden is a copy of the structure of a young woodland. Placing plants that benefit humans and wildlife directly and in directly. The aim is to maximise the positive interactions of mainly edible plants. Forest Gardens often include large trees, small trees. Shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, annuals, root crops and climbers. The designs can vary but the fertility is provided by the plants themselves, just like a forest.
Forest gardens were originally pioneered in the U.K by Robert Hart, Robert worked out the system himself but then later discovered that peasants from all over the world have been creating forest gardens for thousands and thousands of years. Forest Gardens have now been taken to a new level by masters such as Martin Crawford.
Forest Gardens can be any scale from 10 acre demonstration sites in the United States to anybodies small back garden. There are already lots of spaces similar to forest gardens and with vision even more spaces have the potential to be transformed into a forest garden with long-term , self-sustaining low ,maintenance and natural food growing system benefits.
A Permaculture Orchard
A permaculture orchard is a holistic approach to growing food. Like a traditional orchard but with more diversity The Permaculture orchard is based on organic practices and through maximising benefits of different plants, for example using nitrogen-fixing plants and plants under the trees to help keep pests away so the orchard needs less interference from outside inputs. Also choosing the right plants for the right place and using tried and trusted local heritage varieties along with other plants that are pest and disease resistant.
A Community Orchard
These are great ways to bring local communities together to relax, play, work and learn and for a future in the local area. Orchards can work in nearly any space and can be just a few trees to many acres. They can improve our diet, educate local schools, offer a healthy activity and help speed the recovery of the sick.
Up till the 1950’s orchards were everywhere, since then Natural England estimates 63% have been lost in England. More locally Gloucestershire has lost 75% since world war 2.
We can offer local varieties and disease resistant fruit trees. which are more suited to an organic approach. We are members of the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust.
“Orchards of tall trees are a wise way to sharing the land, a positive gift to those who follow” The Common Ground.
We are involved with the latest community orchard in the Forest of Dean at Nine Wells in Berry Hill.
Get in touch if you have an idea for a forest garden or orchard.