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A food forest is system of plants, mostly edible, which are grown together in such an arrangement that makes it highly productive, self-sustaining, self-fertilising and self-replicating.

The Ringing cedar’s books recommend a minimum of 300 perennial plants per property, each plant has different nutritional and mineral requirements as well as produce valuable fertiliser for the system in the form of fallen leaves, branches and fruit. Also droppings from birds provide valuable fertiliser.

The plants are planted at different levels so that more can be planted in an area, for food and some can also be planted for their purpose to provide fertiliser to the surrounding plants e.g. nitrogen fixing trees – some of which can also provide food or feed for animals. A creative design is required such that the plants take care of each other with a minimal of work and technology, such as using trees as the trellises for such plants as grapes, passion fruit and kiwi fruit. It’s recommended that non-hybridized varieties are chosen for their fertility and the variations in nutritional content. The food forest isn’t about getting the maximum yield per plant, it’s designed to minimise the human input.

seven levels of a food forest garden

If everyone started planting a food forest today, in five years the world would be a garden of eden.

                                                                             Samantha, Sustainable Food Project


Food Forest Videos