Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tomorrow at 2640: Gardening Like the Forest

Dave Jacke's permaculture talk, "Gardening Like the Forest" is TOMORROW 7 p.m. at 2640 St. Paul St.


A description of forest gardening from Dave Jacke's website Edible Forest Gardens:

What is Edible Forest Gardening?

Edible forest gardening is the art and science of putting plants together in woodlandlike patterns that forge mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden ecosystem that is more than the sum of its parts.

You can grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, other useful plants, and animals in a way that mimics natural ecosystems.

You can create a beautiful, diverse, high-yield garden.

If designed with care and deep understanding of ecosystem function, you can also design a garden that is largely self-maintaining.

His vision of a forest garden:

Picture yourself in a forest where almost everything around you is food. Mature and maturing fruit and nut trees form an open canopy. If you look carefully, you can see fruits swelling on many branches—pears, apples, persimmons, pecans, and chestnuts.

Shrubs fill the gaps in the canopy. They bear raspberries, blueberries, currants, hazelnuts, and other lesser-known fruits, flowers, and nuts at different times of the year.

Assorted native wildflowers, wild edibles, herbs, and perennial vegetables thickly cover the ground.

You use many of these plants for food or medicine. Some attract beneficial insects, birds, and butterflies. Others act as soil builders, or simply help keep out weeds.

Here and there vines climb on trees, shrubs, or arbors with fruit hanging through the foliage—hardy kiwis, grapes, and passionflower fruits.

In sunnier glades large stands of Jerusalem artichokes grow together with groundnut vines. These plants support one another as they store energy in their roots for later harvest and winter storage. Their bright yellow and deep violet flowers enjoy the radiant warmth from the sky.

This is an edible forest garden.

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