Haiti Forest City: Forest Gardening

 

Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to replicate a woodland habitat.
The system is based on the observation that the natural forest can be divided into distinct levels. Intercropping develops an existing small orchard of apples and pears into an edible polyculture landscape consisting of the following layers:

‘Canopy layer’ consisting of the original mature fruit trees.
‘Low-tree layer’ of smaller nut and fruit trees on dwarfing root stocks.
‘Shrub layer’ of fruit bushes such as currants and berries.
‘Herbaceous layer’ of perennial vegetables and herbs.
‘Ground cover layer’ of edible plants that spread horizontally.
‘Rhizosphere’ or ‘underground’ dimension of plants grown for their roots and tubers.
‘Vertical layer’ of vines and climbers.

 

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