A while back I came across this piece at NextWorldTV and it started me thinking, not about how we need to act to make our own lives possible and fruitful, but how our decisions can affect our descendants a very long way down the time line. Permaculture 300 Year Old Food Forest in Vietnam

This is what I think of as a paradise on earth -- a 300 year old food forest in Vietnam. 28 generations have shared in developing this spectacularly lush environment that not only feeds the family, but provides all the medicinal herbs and plants they need.

Imagine growing up in an environment where you just need to walk outside the door and there is all the sustenance you will ever need -- literally provided by your ancestors!

We can't replicate this design because it takes several hundred years to grow into shape, and in places like NZ we couldn't anyway because we don't (yet) have a tropical climate, but the fact is that, assuming our species and our communities survive, there will be people living on this landscape in 1,000 years, and in 2,000 years and what they have to live with and work on are directly and absolutely conditioned by what we do today.

Now, my question is what does our gardening, our livelihood, our practise, look like if we have that in mind?

Our time horizons are now so short that we will have to do some serious work to extend them to even begin thinking this far ahead. Its possible; the builders of the great cathedrals of Europe, probably the Pyramids of Egypt and meso America, all started out on projects that they, and their children, and their childrens' children would not see completed. But they did it anyway.

And every one of them started with an idea of the finished project hundreds of years into the future then built the best foundations they knew how on which that finished project would have to stand.

How are your foundations going?

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Comment by Robyn Guyton on February 21, 2011 at 1:23pm
I started up a group Food Forests NZ  here in ooooby  over the weekend and will start  loading some information and you tube links, photos etc there
Comment by Earl Mardle on February 20, 2011 at 10:23pm


Brilliant.This is very important stuff you have been doing.

Can we have a whole lot of photos please? And some more details, what species are you growing, how do you mix them up, how did you decide what to grow and where, what is the landscape/ topography, how much land do you have covered by the forest, where do you live in relation to it - surrounded by it, or to one side etc?

When will you start running tours and workshops?

Comment by Robyn Guyton on February 19, 2011 at 4:13am
We have a 15 year old food forest in Riverton, Southland.  You can create a food forest in most districts and NZ and it is easier than you think.  We have 480 different plant species, 100 different fruit and nut trees as well as natives, berries,herbs, veges.  It is really like living in paradise.  The whole forest floor becomes soft and  full of life as everything is composted by drop and forget.  We have just had our soil tested for OFNZ organic certification and we stunned the consultant with the results- every mineral, trace element etc was above average in a almost perfect line...it works!

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