Creating food forest under established fruit orchard

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Jacqui, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Jacqui

    Jacqui New Member

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    We bought a property that has established trees already. 20 mangoes, 20 bananas, 20 citrus and 20 macadamias. We are in the process of learning about permaculture and food forests and want to know how we go about creating a food forest beneath already established fruit trees. Lost on where to start.
     
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  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings Jacqui and welcome!
    Congratulations on your property and established trees ... a great place to start and what an exciting project.
    You're looking at building 7 layers (or 9 layers if John Kitsteiner is your guide https://tcpermaculture.com/site/2013/05/27/nine-layers-of-the-edible-forest-garden/), from the soil life up to the canopy layer. While "productive" plants (food bearing) are the goal, realize that a variety of support species will be necessary for the forest to be self-sustaining. The concept of "guilds" is important here.

    An excellent primer on creating a food forest can be found at: https://permacultureapprentice.com/creating-a-food-forest-step-by-step-guide/

    David Jacke and Eric Toensmeier's "Edible Forest Gardens" is arguably the most in-depth exploration of the subject if you're so inclined. https://www.edibleforestgardens.com/

    Best of luck to you on this project. Would love to hear more about your design and implementation as you progress!
     
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  3. Jacqui

    Jacqui New Member

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    Thank you for your reply 9ANDA1F. I will definitely have a look at the links you offered and get started. I will work at it as if I am starting from scratch and see how it goes.
     
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  4. spencer

    spencer New Member

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    i see youre tropical! let the fun begin! check out these topic specific resources: http://agroforestry.org/free-publications - tons of amazing info and pictures. check out specifically their breadfruit agroforestry guide as they follow an old breadfruit monocrop and turn it into a successional agroforest. amazing.
    https://lifeinsyntropy.org/en/ - amazing successional agroforestry in brazil, turing dead land back into rainforest.
    https://www.geofflawtononline.com/
    - perfect for your climate.
    https://permacultureguidebook.org/ - simple technologies for a tropical permaculture.
    check out my blog too for a learning on perennial vegetables https://tropicalselfsufficiency.wordpress.com/ .

    mangoes and mac nuts have heavy shade. youre going to have to prune them hard, and i mean hard like just keeping the frame of the tree, and keep them pruned to thin out the canopy. not much wants to grow in that dense of shade. if your banana patches are large and old i would thin them and spread them around, plant them everywhere and they make great mulch once you harvest a rack. cut the stock down, cut it down in half lengthwise and then cut into 1-3 foot sections and place them flat side down. instant fertilizer, just dont feed that back to bananas to prevent disease. i would prune the citrus as well. if all your trees are productive it may be hard to give them the proper prune. but if you really want to open the system you should, maybe start with a half row and see what happens. but if they are tired and needing some love a proper pruning and mulching, add all of the pruned materials to feed the system right there, will reinvigorate them. this mulching and pruning will allow lots of sun to hit ground level where your other crops would be planted. youll have to hold back the large mature trees and allow younger plants to enter the system. but these large trees will help push growth hormones into the soil and invigorate whatever you plant down below. making cropping quick. plant that full of starchy tubers and veggies and youve got a complete diet once those trees start producing again. uh instant self sufficiency, yes please (well give it a year or a year and a half). instant in the plant world!
     
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  5. Jacqui

    Jacqui New Member

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    Thank you so much for the reply, this was extremely helpful!
     
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  6. spencer

    spencer New Member

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    youre very welcome!
     
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