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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Swales convey excess rainwater into a ditch-like interior where it's gradually filtered through plants and soil back into the area.
- A dynamic accumulator is a plant that gathers certain minerals or nutrients from the soil and stores them in high concentration in their tissues.
- Comfrey makes an excellent bioactivator in a compost pile, has blooms that attract pollinators, and makes a great green manure.
- Hardy kiwi (ACTINIDIA arguta) is a fast-growing, vigorous vine, but it typically takes 3 years to produce fruit to harvest.
- Yarrow's strong roots break up compacted soil, and draws up phosphorous, calcium, potassium, copper and magnesium into stem leaves and flowers.
Born and raised on a farm, I’ve always appreciated the smell and feel of fresh earth. When we purchased our home 35 years ago, it had some land, but not a single flower. I began the process of plotting and planning garden beds and borders, and have not stopped. Looking out at this mature landscape, it gives me a sense of accomplishment here in my own botanical garden. On her producer role with Volunteer Gardener, Annette says “These are treasured experiences. The passion that people have for their gardens sends me home feeling refreshed, and challenged.