My Food Forest journey
Actually, I still hadn't much idea what other perennial crops I could grow. The soil is amazing after all these years of being fed and pampered, but I thought as long as it is not full of unwanted weeds and looks OK, I could live with it
Now, however, it feeds me rather well
I have moved away, on this plot, from the idea that you sow/plant a crop, harvest it and move on to another one, more to a "grazing" model, where small pickings of lots of different crops can be harvested from time to time, with few gluts and lots of variety
The walkway though is woodchipped, helps keep a safe footing, and there are several growing areas, plus a few more traditional "beds" at the edges, altogether covering two thirds of that plot ie about 20 sq m
As lots of you know, nearly three years ago I was suddenly left widowed, one impact of which was to now have two full size plots to work by myself, an area of 520sqm
The original plot was organised into what started out as fairly decorative raised beds, plus a small wildlife pond, a huge soft fruit bed,a large covered seating area and a shed. It is now nearly 14 years old, having started its life as virgin meadowland
The second plot, which we had only had three years, at the time ,had had one careless owner, and was covered in head high thistles and docks
We went for a much more practical arrangement of raised beds, plus two polytunnels each 12m by 3m, an orchard area and some flower beds
This second plot is easy to manage, and has caused me no issues at all.
Plot one however, rapidly became un-manageable in its original form, with fruit trees allegedly dwarf, growing sky high and the attractive format of the beds turning into an ugly mess of weeds, difficult to access and totally depressing. I seriously thought of giving that plot up, but we had done so much there together I couldn't face that........
.... and then one day I realised that the overgrown trees formed the basis of a developing woodland, and I did some reading about Forest Gardening, Forage-style gardening, permaculture etc, and the new Food Forest was born