500 Days of Food Forest
The idea started from sheer curiosity. I had always wondered, how fast does the food forest grow? I really had no idea.
What better way to satisfy my curiosity than start taking daily photographs and then morphing those many photographic stills into a short video?
Thus the project was born and 500 days has now passed and the project continues.
My farm is located in the south eastern corner of Australia and the weather could best be categorised as cool temperate. The winters are cool to mild and generally very damp and humid whilst the summers are warm to hot and usually quite dry. There are two food forests on the farm one is shady, whilst the other is very exposed to the sun and therefore much hotter. The combined food forests have over 300 unique fruit trees ranging from: nut trees; citrus; stone fruit; and many varieties of apples and pears.
The 500 days of food forest shows the growth in the shadier food forest and the photographs were taken around dusk each day whilst I was supervising the chickens as they free ranged underneath the fruit trees.
The chickens here live a pleasant life and I specifically purchase many heritage varieties as each breed has unique life and laying cycles. It would be a rare day that there is not at least one egg to collect from the ladies. Indeed many of the chickens are well into their fourth year here at the farm and they show little sign of slowing down.
As I am able to spend each day looking at a food forest, I see a lot of detail, but sometimes the big picture gets lost in that detail. The video has been quite interesting for me as it shows the progression of seasons in the food forest. For example, it is amazing to see just how quickly in spring the herbage underneath the fruit trees grows. It is even more interesting to spot a second growth phase in that herbage in autumn.
It is also worth mentioning that despite the very hot and dry summers at the farm, the fruit trees rely purely on ground water alone and yet still reliably produce fruit each year. As the food forest becomes more established it requires less ongoing work on my part.
The video satisfied my curiosity and showed exactly just how fast the fruit trees grow in this environment.
I hope that you enjoy the video and please feel free to ask questions.
The author lives on an organic farm which is not connected to the electricity grid, at an elevation of about 700m (2,300ft) above sea level in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria, Australia. There are about 300 fruit trees (honestly, I lost count after 300), heritage chickens, berries, vegetables, flowers and herbs all on 22 acres of cool temperate tall eucalyptus forest. Visit his site, ferngladefarm.blogspot.com.au/ here.