Food Forests NZ

Food forests and forest gardens are promoted through permaculture . This forum is for those who are growing or would like to grow one in their property.

Location: Riverton
Members: 156
Latest Activity: Jul 17, 2018

Click on Robyns icon to see pictures of her Southland Food forest.
Finally our 'Welcome to the Food Forest' 8 minute movie can be watched on line. It is a great introduction to permaculture and our Centre. [[]]

Filmed autumn 2016  - 8 minutes of our forest garden this season

Filmed spring 2016 - 20 minutes of our forest garden with some great drone footage

Discussion Forum

Barrier plants. 4 Replies

I've been looking at barrier plants, with the idea of 'fencing' off our future food forest area from kikuyu invasion.Came across Vetiver (…Continue

Started by Nathan Rushton. Last reply by Andy Oct 4, 2015.

Nitrogen fixing NON invasive plants 9 Replies

Hi all, Having been exposed to  the world of food forests ( friend has a Geoff Lawton dvd).   I  had a "light bulb" moment  and down this merry path my feet carry me. Our  land  was stripped of …Continue

Started by John Park. Last reply by Nick Rountree Sep 9, 2015.

Perennial vegetables 16 Replies

Hi food forest fans,I thought it would be useful if we created a list of perennial vegetables that would be suitable additions to food forests. It seems one of the benefits of food forests is that…Continue

Started by Wayne Erb. Last reply by Anna Robinson Jul 6, 2015.

How big? (m2/year/middle_aged_person) 2 Replies

We're looking at turning an area of grass and gum trees into a food forest.Many books say starting too big is a common problem ("design big, start small"). Does anyone have any war stories to pass on…Continue

Started by Charles Finn. Last reply by Charles Finn Nov 30, 2013.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Kali on July 19, 2011 at 2:27pm

I found this page when looking up cow parsley, I will try to establish some cow parsley and also giganteum edible parsley around the place this year.

Comment by Robyn Guyton on July 19, 2011 at 8:56am

Hi Nadine  I visited a small permaculture  forest in Dunedin and they had Italian flat leaf parsley doing the same role as cow parsley which I am keen to move into as it is also edible but maybe not a strong against tough grasses initially.  I will put some pictures up later in the week.

Comment by Nadine on July 18, 2011 at 10:09pm
Would love to see photos Robyn. We have had sunshine in Taranaki for 3 days in a row!  It has been magnificent, transplanted fruit trees in 'wrong' positions into the food forest area and have transplanted raspberries out of the vege gdn (i'm a slow learner) and into the food forest between the fruit trees.  Still need to clear pasture (I will be doing it in patches) for sowing of cow parsley. It may be the sun but its starting to look exciting and quite beautiful (Considerable numbers of Tagasastes have made all the difference)
Comment by Robyn Guyton on July 16, 2011 at 5:01am
I think it would be easier to plant thickly in a small area and the grass as you say Sharon will fade away naturally.  We had one and a half acres and spare plantings in very dominant grass so it took 8 years to get  ahead.  Now we would do it patches and plant thickly in broad beans, lupins or cow parsley (giant edible Italian parsley may work I think and is edible)  any strong green crop would work. Amongst the mix plant the other layers, berries, herbs,perennial veges, small trees, tall trees etc.  Then start the next patch.  It is always exciting as no two food forests will ever be the same.  We felt like pioneers finding out what could grow down here and it was very surprising.  Lotus, figs, outdoor grapes, fejoas...just can't do the citrus yet.  Our forest is nearly stable just a bit more work needed to get more variety in the herb layer.  There will always be a bit of pruning and planting but certainly not as much work or energy needed as mowing a large lawn.  We only have hand tools for the garden. Will get some photos up on a flicker page and post the link here.
Comment by Christy Ralphs on July 15, 2011 at 9:25pm
Hi - Robyn I would love to see your food forest, it sounds fantastic. I have been experimenting up here on Waiheke Island with converting an area approx 30metres by 18metres into a food forest, which previously had some ailing citrus. I have put a knee high fence round it, and have some cayuga ducks in there. It's a bit of a bog at the moment, but will put some progress photos up on my blog sometime soon. In the meantime I'm sure I will be back with some questions.
Comment by Tara McFarlane on May 2, 2011 at 3:19pm
If you have nasturtium seeds, you can pickle them - they are much nicer than capers, and can be used in exactly the same way.

Simply soak them for three days in salty water, then pour whatever vinegar you like over them, and let them sit for at least 6 weeks before using them - totally Delish!!!
Comment by Kali on May 2, 2011 at 2:05pm
would cow parsley cross with edible parsley Robyn?  I have some whirlybird nasturtiums around a couple of my plum trees which have competed well with the grass, however they are dropping seed all over now, hope it doesn't become a pest, I did see it 'catching' some white cabbage butterfly caterpillars.
Comment by Robyn Guyton on May 2, 2011 at 3:58am
Cow parsley grows by seed our local seed savers group has some available contact them though
Comment by Denise on April 27, 2011 at 8:48pm
Brilliant I shall have a go hunting it down tomorrow, thanks.  Oh that kikuya, I don't miss that at all!  Glad it doesn't grow down here...
Comment by Kiri Smeed on April 27, 2011 at 11:22am

Hi I am in the same position as you. Young trees and kikuya grass. I got hold of a book called 'Design your own orchard' By Kay Baxter of Koanga Gardens. I got it from the library but have now ordered it (but not yet received it) . It is great. IN it is describes I think 7 ways to clear this sort of area one of which is roundup but lots of other options.

This book is alot more than growing an orchard it is about being sustainable as possible on 1/2 and acre including information on what to grow to feed chickens without buying in feed and Comfrey. - Which I am in the process of trying to get today.


The best thing for me is it is written for where I live (Auckland/Northland area)

Hope this helps Kiri




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