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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.

Website: http://www.sces.org.nz
Location: Riverton
Members: 127
Latest Activity: Mar 25

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. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY2_17NTd7Q]]

Discussion Forum

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.

Nitrogen fixing NON invasive plants 6 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 Jo Duff Oct 21, 2013.

Perennial vegetables 14 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 Jo Duff Oct 21, 2013.

Food Forests - The Future of Gardening

I'm doing a talk on food forests at the Edible Garden Show this Saturday at 11am , and on Beyond Companion Planting (ie guilds, ie food forests by another name!!) on Friday at 11am. I'll also have…Continue

Started by Jo Duff Oct 21, 2013.

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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 www.sces.org.nz
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

 

 

Comment by Denise on April 26, 2011 at 10:40pm

Hi there, I am very interested in converting our little patch of land into a food forest.  Currently we have a small orchard of young trees with lawn around them.  I'm wanting to get rid of as much lawn as possible and have a herbal type under story instead, but what is the best way to get rid of the grass?  Would it work if we try and use a rotory hoe and just turn the earth over?  I don't want to spray if it can be avoided.  Any advice would be hugely helpful, I'm still new to this!

Thanks, Denise

Comment by Nadine on April 18, 2011 at 7:02pm
Awesome, thanks for this, really helpful. Will hunt for cow parsley, did you buy seeds or divide from another plant?
Comment by Robyn Guyton on April 18, 2011 at 1:12am

HI Nadine

we had the same problem competing with tough grasses and have recently found that cow parsley works incredibly well smothering out the grasses then we can follow with mixed herbal understory. Grass is a pain because it puts out a hormone that weakens other plants you are trying to grow, We are aiming for a pasture grass free forest.

Raspberries are great as are all berries.  Our management technique is a bi annual lift and drop of grass and volunteer plants growing around the berries so they always have a donut of mulch around them-  This protects them from weather extremes and keeps them from being overcome,

We have had hens and Cayuga ducks successfully living in our forest some years but now that we are incorporating vege clearings into our mix they are not so welcome when vege plants are small or when we are trying to start a green crop. We put the hens in a chicken tractor at those critical times- but generally they are great.  However we don't recommend geese they are too big and destructive.

 

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