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Design of Eco-Gardens/Food-Forests

What are Eco Gardens and Food Forests?


Eco gardening: When using permaculture gardening you will have re-created or designed your garden to such a degree that each year is practically maintenance free and producing a variety of different fruits and vegetables in a clean, natural and sustainable way.  It may take several seasons before you have a fully functioning garden, one where each plant benefits and relies on another and no waste is created that can’t be used in some way.

Food Forest: A popular permaculture garden is called a food forest.   This type of garden will have at least three of seven possible layers of food plants.  Starting from the ground up there is the Root Layer, the Ground Cover Layer, the Herb Layer, the Shrub Layer, the Vine Layer, the Short Tree Layer to finally the Tall Tree Layer.   Most of the plants used are perennials because they require less labour and do not harm the land in any way making them the perfect low energy consumer.  A perennial is any type of tree, shrub or small plant that will grow back each year without any unnatural intervention.

Some techniques that may overlap within each food forest or small scale permaculture garden would be water collection and redistribution, passive solar energy techniques as well as composting waste and making your own organic soil.  The use of animals such as chickens for pest control and worms for soil aeration are also common.

Adapted from: Permaculture Gardening for the Ultimate Eco Garden by Katie Flynn


Principles of Ecological Design

Follow nature’s example
Transcend market culture
Alternatives to the conventional score board for success
Intervene as little as possible
Context is everything
Appropriate technology
Moderate and efficient resource use
Individual thought and action
Green living inspiration
Cooperative anarchy
True progress
True comfort
Preserving our legacy of ancient wisdom

Read The Principles of Ecological Design by Art Ludwig for more information.