Food forest – permaculture methods

Annette Shrader visits with an experienced gardener who adheres to the methods of permaculture. All of the plants in his vast backyard are part of a food forest, and each plant contributes in some way to the good of the whole. Food guilds, trap plants, green manure, and chop+drop plants are discussed, along with how they make edible plants thrive.

Plants Featured in this Clip

ACTINIDIA arguta (Hardy kiwi)

Gardener Extras

  1. A fruit tree guild is an ancient technique in which mutually beneficial species are planted around a fruit tree to create a supportive mini-ecosystem.
  2. Daikon radish can be used as a living mulch to keep wees under control. Quick-growing, the leaves cover up to 80% of the soil surface.
  3. Swales convey excess rainwater into a ditch-like interior where it's gradually filtered through plants and soil back into the area.
  4. A dynamic accumulator is a plant that gathers certain minerals or nutrients from the soil and stores them in high concentration in their tissues.
  5. Comfrey makes an excellent bioactivator in a compost pile, has blooms that attract pollinators, and makes a great green manure.
  6. Hardy kiwi (ACTINIDIA arguta) is a fast-growing, vigorous vine, but it typically takes 3 years to produce fruit to harvest.
  7. Yarrow's strong roots break up compacted soil, and draws up phosphorous, calcium, potassium, copper and magnesium into stem leaves and flowers.

Annette Shrader

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