Pdxjoe.us: “Garden” Food Forest Permaculture: Mimic How Plants Grow In Nature.
Why is a food forest the best survival garden you can have? No weeding, fertilizers, or pesticides needed. Plant once and harvest for many years. How does it work? How can you easily set one up?
This is absolutely one of the best survival gardens you can grow. Not only are many of your plants low or no maintenance and most everything is perennial, but this garden is also camouflaged. Why? Because, it looks natural, like what naturally occurs in nature. Let me explain. If some emergency survival situation occurs where a food shortage takes place, which style of garden looks more obvious and give passersby a signal that food is growing here? A) The traditional garden in a nice rectangular shape, maybe a fence, and rows layed out where you can see the garden style and food growing? Or B) A “garden area” that looks like overgrown underbrush and where the only “design” you may see is something looks like a forest layout perhaps? Which of these would be more appropriate for a survival scenario? If you are thinking B, then you are correct.
Here are Some of the Benefits of Having a Food Forest Garden:
- Takes up less space than a traditional garden
- Produces 5 times for food for the same amount of space as a traditional garden
- Perennial- plant once and reap your harvest of food for many years or a lifetime
- No need for fertilizers
- No need for weeding
- No need for pesticides
- Camouflaged, natural-looking design to not expose what you are growing
Many indigenous cultures before us lived largely off of perennials. Think about it. They didn’t have the modern “conveniences” of being able to run to the store for seeds, fertilizer, weed killer, pesticides, etc. and they had no refrigerators or electricity, all of these things had to be naturally built into their daily lifestyles.
How the Food Forest Garden Works
It works simply by mimicking nature’s way of growing food and nature has been doing it successfully for thousands of years. So why re-invent the wheel? Nature does not grow food by lining them up in neat little 1-2ft rows. While the approach may seem somewhat “scattered” to onlookers, it is actually very orderly. With nature’s design plants need no trimming, cultivating and an abundance of herbs, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and more are successfully produced by its method every year.
In nature, plants grow in circle dimensions in such a way that all the plants get the rain, sunshine, air, share of nutrients it needs to survive. See Also: Survival Garden Perennial: The Tree Collard Green
Here is what the food forest natural growth pattern looks like:
- The center is a tree of some sort (maybe a nut or fruit tree), which will provide natural weed suppression and mulch as it drops leaves, pine needles, etc. in the fall.
- This tree provides much shade beneath it for shade-loving plants, like blackberries and blueberries. So this is the next circular ring of plants growing in the trees’ shade.
- The next ring outside the circle of shade lovers can be herbs. These herbs attract pollinators and wasps that will eat the “bad guy” bugs, a natural pesticide. The herbs act as a protective layer for the fruit, berries, and nuts.
- The outer layer is usually a ground cover, which acts as a natural fertilizer, as it accumulates nitrogen and makes that nitrogen available to the surrounding plants.