invitation into wilderness
Let´s create a Foodforest
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ― Chinese Proverb
A food forest is an independent, self-sustaining and sustainable ecosystem that supplies animals, bacteria and people with food. In addition to various fruit trees and pure, tall deciduous trees, shrubs and many herbs and vines, there are also different types of vegetables in such a food forest. In harmony between humans, animals and nature, a sustainable, self-regenerating and healthy cycle is created. A food forest shows you the way to a conscious handling of food and it´s diversity, which you can create.
Walking through a forest of fruits that hang at eye level. The whole floor is full of wild herbs. An irresistible scent and the damp, cool air that surrounds you. There are many creatures that use this area as a habitat. Our aim is to crete harmony between nature and our guests.
In total there are 4 levels that are supported by dry stone walls and have a total size of 4500 square meters. Each level is lined with trees, shrubs and herbs. The trees are importent to create shadow Roof for the Soil and other young Fruit Trees. That Roof will hold the temperature down inside the Foodforest and keeps the water back in this microzone. Between the Fruit Trees we use the space for Beery-Shrubs, Flowers, green fertilizer like Sinapis arvensis or diverent Sativas. It helps the soil to change from a loam structure to a loose, humus-rich mass. This is the necassary habitat for microorganisms, insects, reptiles and rodents. Such a cycle helps to create a healthy ecosystem where you can grow healthy and sustainable food without pesticides or other unnatural practices.
The important of an
The forests with a high density of plants ensure correspondingly high yields in the smallest of spaces.
The resulting biological diversity ensures a continuous supply of fruit, berries, teas, flowers, vegetables, herbs and spices all year round.
As in natural forests, a fully-grown food forest is largely self-fertilized and covers the soil independently of one another in order to store the moisture that is essential for survival.
With such a high density of plants, a large volume of fallen leaves will accumulate and turn red to add fresh organic matter to the soil.
A large number of animals find their new habitat here and keep the ecosystem in balance. Decomposers, the class of insects that break down organic matter such as earthworms, wood lice (pill bugs, slater) and millipedes, support the natural composting process.
It is a natural pest control due to the large number of different animals.
This means no chemicals are needed and a balance is established. Natural predators also settle there to get rid of pests.
No chemicals are required! Food forests use natural predators to get rid of pests – and let the experts do their job naturally.
Predatory insects find their permanent home in this natural, balanced ecosystem. Bees, bumblebees and butterflies also find plenty of food sources in nectar-rich flowers and vegetables and contribute to pollination. A conventional vegetable patch is often a home for only one species, namely the pests, there is no place where good beetles can live!
An abundant living ecosystem also attracts many birds and other larger predators, helping to combat pests naturally.
As in “wild” emerging forests, nature does not grow any mono plant species. It also does not reproduce in correct rows. Nature prefers biological diversity and not monocultures! By mixing many different types of plants, they will all grow better together. A natural synergy is created that benefits all plants involved. As a result, the plants are not only more resistant to pests and diseases and more productive, but also the variety is also much nicer to look at.
Using companion plants enables us to restore nature’s biodiversity to achieve precisely these benefits.
When lower leveld plants, for example herbs, naturally die off, they stay in place. They will not be uprooted like in a traditional garden! We try to let nature work and do not uproot plants that cannot cause damage, but you can cut the stem at ground level. The remaining roots rot under the soil and form thousands of complex air and water channels in the soil. The trimmed tips of the chopped plants form a natural compost system like the natural forest soil exemplifies.
Every soil is alive. It is up to us to revitalize it, to keep the complex ecosystem alive and to benefit from it. Everything that exists above ground also contributes to a balanced underground. Entering the garden beds compacts the soil, closes all air and water ducts and makes it difficult for water and air to reach plant roots, which affects plant growth.
Back to the
we humans must become mindful
The 7 Main Layers of our
In this layer the aim is to create the most possible shadow in the midsun to protect the trees growing underneath. In our case, these trees are mostly high growing (up to 15 Meters) leaf trees to give the soil the necessary mulching. Timber, high nut and nitrogen-fixing trees are typical in this layer.
As a protection against strong winds and as an important nitrogen supplier, they are the ideal partners for the more sensitive fruit tree layer.
Typically 3-5 meter high fruit trees show the picture of this level. We have chosen a variety of different fruit trees for this level. They can produce their fruits in this protected environment.
Due to the light shade and the wind protection of the layer above, the fruit stands cannot be damaged by wind and weather. This layer is also responsible for storing the vaporized water.
All kinds of various fruit and tea bushes fall into this layer. with a typical height of max. 3 meters, this layer can be laid out individually according to the presence and space. We have distributed various berry and tea bushes over the plains. Some flower-bearing shrubs as well as typical shrub-forming spices and flowers complete this layer.
This layer can contain all kinds of more vegetables. Small growing species and large herbs also belong in there. We decided on a wide variety of combinations of herbs and vegetables that occupy a safe place between the trees and bushes on the slope.
These beds are easily accessible and this layer grows wonderfully in the fertile soil protected and fertilized by the trees.
There is a overlap with the Herbaceous and Groundcover Layer.
The main task of this level is to protect the soil from drying out and to hold back all the water and ensure a healthy soil climate. It fills gaps in the forest and some ot the parts tolerat to walked on.
This layer is the home of the root crops. There is a great variety of edible roots that many people are not yet aware of. Particularly old root vegetables that have been forgotten find their place here. Many of these plants can be used in the herb, grapevine / climbing layer, and ground cover / creeping layer.
These vine and climbing plants grow vertically over several layers, depending on how they are trained and directed. They are a great way to get greater productivity in a small space. Pergolas scaffolding and different trunks of trees are used as climbing aids to the same extent and depending on their accessibility for harvesting.
If you imagine such a food forest as a whole unit, a plant guild is a sub-unit. That means you need different plant guilds and they are coordinated with each other and help the soil and all plants to grow and survive. These plants are often identified by a central dominant tree. Because all plants grow naturally with other species in nature and not in individual monoculture, like species groups separately from one to another. The aim of forming plant guilds is to allow plants to grow naturally in harmony with eachother, taking into account how they can best help people.
Why we are using Plant Guild´s
A plant guild is a group of plants that like to grow together because they help and support each other in their community. These groups of plants also benefit humans. The plant guilds can consist of the following types of plants: tall trees, small trees, bushes, vines, root plants, ground cover plants, water-edge plants and mushrooms.
Within the group, this variety of plants serves different purposes. All of this happens on the basis of permaculture.
This genus of plants can be found in every layer of the food forest and attracts bees, bumblebees and a large number of other insects, which ensure the fertilization of the most diverse flowers and those help with the fruit and natural seed formation.
These plants are responsible for the production of the vital nitrogen and give the soil important nutrients. Thats very important to support the plants in their growth and to keep the leaves green.
This plant genus draws many nutrients dormant deep in the earth to the surface and stores them for the young roots of the young plants. With their help, water is also stored, retained and transported into the upper layers. This is the battery of the food forest in the dry season.
Plants with a high proportion of essential oils or fragrance-forming substances help us to keep pests away from sensitive groups of plants and contribute to the whole system. Insects that can harm fruits and vegetables are repelled naturally and without cemicals.
These are the main producers in our food forest and provide us all year round with delicacies that nature has in store for us. Whether fruit trees or berry bushes. There are no limits to the variety.
Medicinal herbs and teas play a key role in human history and have been grown and used in every culture and across the globe. Why not create your own medicinal herb garden and use it for your own health. In addition, there is nothing better than sitting in front of the fireplace with a good cup of tea in the winter and enjoying the fruits of your seasonal Work.
The most natural thing about fertilization is the possible green manure. A wide variety of plant waste and the natural change of foliage caused by the seasons. It provides the humus and fertilizer for the next generation of plants, which provides the plants strength in spring. That resulting energy helps the food forest wake up.