Forest Gardening

Forest gardening is a woodland ecosystem that requires little maintenance. Forest gardening is a form of intercropping that is a seven tier, layering system utilizing the space from the sub-ground up to the canopy in order to provide high yielding food production for human consumption in wooded areas. Layering utilizes the photosynthesis to the maximum benefit for each tier within the forest garden.

The canopy level consists of the tallest fruit/nut trees with dwarf trees in the second layer. The third layer consists of fruit/berry shrubs that require less photosynthesis than the first or second layer. The fourth level consists of plants in the herbaceous family such as beets and herbs, which require low light. Root vegetables take up the fifth layer with ground cover plants taking up the sixth layer. Climbing vines make up the seventh layer.

Image Caption: Photo of Robert Hart’s forest garden in Shropshire, UK.Credit: Quercusrobur/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)