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: 157
Latest Activity: Oct 1, 2020

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

Cow Parsley 1 Reply

Hello everyone,  I live and grow in Taumarunui and was wondering if anyone knew where to get cow parsley seeds.  I have scrolled through sites that I thought may have them but I guess they class it…Continue

Started by Rosemary. Last reply by Kali Aug 15, 2019.

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.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Robyn Guyton on December 5, 2011 at 5:45am

For those of you in Southern NZ we are holding a Food Forest tour and 3 hour workshop  in Riverton, Southland Saturday 10th December 1.30-4.30

Cost $25  Contact the Riverton Environment Centre office@sces,org,nz for bookings and details.

Comment by Robyn Guyton on November 22, 2011 at 9:15am

Hi John

We go to places like Wrightsons farmers stores and buy sacks of seeds-  works out amazingly cheap and you can share them around,

We got sacks of less common seeds from Stevens Seeds in Ashburton  even with freight they were really good value. 

I also go to my local nursery centre  and order bulk seeds and they can sell most seeds to you in 50g, 100g, 200g bulk packs-  usually have to wait a few days as they have to get them in. 

Those little pre made packets are so expensive for only a few seeds so not really economical for large areas- however if you buy a couple of packs and save seed from them you can build up your own stocks at no more expense.

cheers  Robyn

Comment by John Park on November 21, 2011 at 10:58am

Thanks  Kali,  we're currently on the lookout for bees to populate the 2 x topbar hives I've built,  so Tutu will have to join wattle on my  nice to but won't list.

A wonderful offer  of seeds,  thank you again but I do have a source of kakabeak local.  (offtopic) It  does amaze me  that some seed is fairly common down south  and  when I asked at local  regional seed suppliers they look at me  in "that funny way"

eg.  I'm after  kgs of  dandelion, yarrow, tansy etc (herbal lay/field mixes)

apart from kings seeds which are fairly expensive for amounts  I need...........where does one look??   any  ideas?






Comment by Kali on November 21, 2011 at 1:47am

that piqued my interest so I did a little bit of research., so can add kakabeak to your list, I have some seeds If you would like them, lovely trees but prone to becoming snail tucker. I was interested to read that tutu is a nitrogen fixer also, not that that would be welcome if you keep bees for honey !

Comment by John Park on November 20, 2011 at 9:04pm

Food forests! my new obsession,  I'm so  excited  I  tend to be a rush in guy and want to plant, plant, plant!  I have to get into the long term picture,  already  dry here in Tutukaka (northland) &  am planning  to  build  huglekulture  mounds with swales  to increase soil water holding capacity. We've  got 150 to 250mm of reasonable soil then clay +  we have Kikuyu grass, wonderfully drought resistant but, swallows young trees whole.

Another useful list would be non-invasive N fixing plants. I'm  not too keen on some of the offerings like wattle etc. Anyone got a  more to add to the following that will prosper in Northland clay soils??

- Kowhai

- Tree lucerne





Comment by Robyn Guyton on November 16, 2011 at 11:02pm

Good they are around a metre high growing over flax stick tripod outdoors and looks like they will thrive

Comment by Kali on November 14, 2011 at 12:50am

I just picked up nzgardener mag from jan 2010 and Robert was writing about his fledgling grapevines! how are they doing now?

Comment by Robyn Guyton on November 1, 2011 at 2:32pm
Oh and I forgot kiwifruit as well!
Comment by Robyn Guyton on November 1, 2011 at 2:31pm


we have a climbing nasterium with edible tubers (just), outdoor grapes (in Southland), hops, climbing peas and beans and some wild blackberries which persist!

Comment by Kali on November 1, 2011 at 11:57am

I couldn't agree more Robyn, just been out photographing our patch, its becoming very diverse and full, with little vignettes of beauty where happy companions are coexising. its a very personal way of gardening, ours probably wouldn't make it into house and garden on the wide shot, on first glance its a bit of a mess, but in my head its even better than it has become so far :) need to scythe the weeds around the fruit trees again but the buttercups are so pretty with the alkanet and the comfrey has its first flush of flowers....

what kind of vines do you mostly have? runner beans?


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