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


You need to be a member of Food Forests NZ to add comments!

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.

Comment by Nadine on April 17, 2011 at 12:15pm
Im interested in how to establish the understory of clovers, herbs and flowers under fruit trees- the first attempt has been overgrown with the old pasture grass and only comfrey seems to survive through this (we removed the pasture with chooks and spades to start and seeds germinated but quickly were overgrown).  Lupins held their own and I thought they would self seed but they don't seem to have. Any suggestions?    Tagasaste have grown amazingly this year and Ive divided lots of comfrey, planting in circles about 2m out around each tree.  Im about to move raspberry canes into the food forest - though not sure how this will compete with the ever growing pasture (without copious amounts of weeding).  Also does anyone have free changing chooks in their food forest?  Does it work successfully? Thanks!
Comment by Robyn Guyton on April 13, 2011 at 2:47am
Autumn has arrived and our food forest is changing colour and now is the time we mulch and clear round our shrubs and trees and gather our stores for winter. We have boxes filling up with apples, quinces, potatoes, carrots, marrows etc  We have several varieties of each as we are experimenting with what grows best in or region. We are also gathering seeds for next season.
Comment by Robyn Guyton on April 12, 2011 at 12:58am
Sorry the food forest movie above isn't loaded properly on You tube -any suggestions how I can reload it and get it to work- it is 8 minutes long?
Comment by Robyn Guyton on February 20, 2011 at 8:47am
We have a 16 year old food forest in Southland with 480 different species of plants. 65 different Apples, 15 different pears, 12 different plums, 18 different types of berries, feijoa, grapes, figs, 27 potato varieties etc.  Our forest is nestled amongst NZ trees for shelter.  We started with one bare windswept paddock covered in grass, gorse and broom.  Every single tree we planted. Once shelter was established it took 8 years to turn the rest into a producing food forest. A recent soil test indicated that all nutrients, trace elements etc are now evenly all above average after 10 years of no outside input- we just drop anything we no longer need on the spot for natural breakdown.  We have learnt a lot on the way and happy to share this with others.

Members (156)


What's Buzzing? 


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Pete Russell.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service