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At the moment we are working on 3 forest gardens on our terrain:
1. A food forest in a jungly area between the field and the forest,
2. A food forest on the field between the living fence and the vegetable park: the "food savannah"
3. The plum orchard will be turned into a more varied forest garden.
1. The jungly area forest garden
This area allready has a lot of fruit and nut trees (cherry, apple, sweet chestnut, walnut) but it is quite crowded in there. The first thing we did, is clean the area from everything that doesn't bear fruits or nuts. Now that there was much more light in this part, other things started growing.
We sowed nitrogen fixing clover, calendula and lupine to take over from the unwanted herbs (or weeds). We also planted a hazelnut shrub, elderberry shrubs, kiwi, mint, lemon balm, thyme and various berries from our nursery. These herbs and shrubs will eventually shade out the unwanted herbs.
>> Read more about this 1st forest garden on our terrain
2. Food savannah between garden and fence
This field with a slight slope to the south, never got much attention. Last summer I started observing it and I found many surprises! Like an ugly shrub-like tree that used to be overgrown and surrounded by all kinds of things, turned out to be a plum tree!
We planted gooseberry shrubs, blueberries, aronia, and raspberries that now grow all along the branches wall.
With planting 2 kaki trees, a young mulberry tree and medlar (mespilus germanica) we brought some 3D.
Next step is to make official paths (with wood chip mulch) and let the thyme and wild strawberries take over the grass.
>> More about the food savanna
3. From old plum orchard to new forest garden
The previous owners of our place planted a plum orchard on the north side of the house, on a north facing, quite slopy terrain. The good thing is that they planted a variety of plum trees.
Last year we made a net and pan system in this orchard for water management and we planted some companions for the plum trees.
>> More about the net and pan system and the plum orchard
Barbara and Nol made an animation to explain about the layers in a forest garden: