Forest Gardening or Agroforestry is a way of growing edible crops with nature doing most of the work. Modelled on young woodland, a wide range of crops is grown in vertical layers. Species are chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility, with little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Whether a small area in your back garden or a larger plot, here is advice on how to create a beautiful space with great environmental benefits from planning and design (using permaculture principles) to planting and maintenance. With a changing climate, we must grow food sustainably, without compromising soil health, food quality or biodiversity and Forest Gardening offers an exciting solution to the challenge.
Creating a Forest Garden also includes a detailed directory of over 500 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers - almost all of them edible and many very unusual.
As well as more familiar plants you can grow your own chokeberries, goji berries, yams, heartnuts, bamboo shoots and buffalo currants.
Martin Crawford has spent over 20 years in organic agriculture and horticulture, and is director of the Agroforestry Research Trust, a non-profit-making charity that researches into temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops. The Trust produces several publications and a quarterly journal, and sells plants and seeds. See www.agroforestry.co.uk for more information.
Foreword by Rob Hopkins Introduction Part 1: How forest gardens work 1. Forest gardens 2. Forest garden features and products 3. The effects of climate change 4. Natives and exotics 5. Emulating forest conditions 6. Fertility in forest gardens Part 2: Designing your forest garden 7. Ground preparation and planting 8. Growing your own plants 9. First design steps 10. Designing wind protection 11. Canopy species 12. Designing the canopy layer 13. Shrub species 14. Designing the shrub layer 15. Herbaceous perennial and ground-cover species 16. Designing the perennial/ground-cover layer 17. Annuals, biennials and climbers 18. Designing with annuals, biennials and climbers Part 3: Extra design elements and maintenance 19. Clearings 20. Paths 21. Fungi in forest gardens 22. Harvesting and preserving 23. Maintenance 24. Ongoing tasks Glossary Appendix 1: Propagation tables Appendix 2: Trees and shrubs for hedging and fencing Appendix 3: Plants to attract beneficial insects and bees Appendix 4: Edible crops by month of use Resources: Useful organisations, suppliers and publications