Forest Gardening

I have a mini-forest in my back garden.  It represents a pioneer experiment in restoring a tiny segment of the primeval Long Forest, which once covered a wide area of the Shropshire Hills bioregion.  Like the natural forest, it comprises a wide diversity of plants, occupying seven levels or ‘storeys’, but, unlike the natural forest, almost all its plants have been carefully chosen to meet human needs.  It is, in fact, an attempt to create a model life-support system, which would enable a family or small community to achieve a considerable degree of self-sufficiency in basic necessities throughout the year, while enjoying health-giving exercise in a beautiful, unpolluted and stimulating environment. – Robert A de J Hart

Forest Gardening by Robert Hart

Those who are concerned with the full implications of the ecological crisis which we now face generally agree that urgent steps should be taken to plant many millions of trees.  …. It occurred to me that there was no reason why many of the desperately needed new trees should not be fruit-trees planted by the owners of town and suburban gardens, who would gain the bonus of growing nourishing food.  If one could persuade 100 000 Londoners to plant just ten fruit-trees each, that would be a million trees – quite a forest!

That’s a great idea Robert! We don’t have a garden of our own, or any prospect of acquiring one, but we still want to join in!  So we’ll just plant them in public places, places where we’ll be able to keep coming back to nurture our trees, and eventually to gather fruit from them, as will anyone else who wants to. 🙂

 

6 thoughts on “Forest Gardening

  1. This is a brilliant idea and comes at a time when we are considering a similar plan. We have just bought a house with some land and our plan is to go self sufficient, we were planning to use a polly tunnel but this idea may be a viable alternative. We are planning to plant around 1 acre of land with fast growing willow which should within 5 years make us self sufficient in fuel and provide the opportunity to make willow hurdles and other craft items. The willow plantation will also be a great wildlife haven. I will be reading the book 🙂

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