creepers underground

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Forest gardens are thought to be the world’s oldest and most resilient agro-ecosystem.They originated in prehistoric times.  
 
Creation of animal habitat along side the production of foods, increases stability for the local birds and insects.  Also, many of our folk no longer have any substantial direct contact with Nature and this has giving rise to a variety of negative physical, psychological and emotional influences,  especially among our children.

A Food Forest Garden is a planned ecosystem which works the way Nature works.  If you observe Nature and the natural evolution of a landscape you will notice that there is a natural succession it follows from a bare (and generally barren) field to a mature woodland forest.  There are many stages in this succession and it can take anywhere from 50 to 100 years to reach the phase of a mature woodland forest.

By consciously designing and implementing a food forest garden that mimics the evolutionary stage of a natural young woodland forest when it is mature enough to provide top canopy benefits (such as windbreaks) and yet still allow enough open space and sunlight for the healthy development of the lower forest garden layers , the maximum amount of product yield can be delivered while maintaining the authentic sustainability of the ecosystem.

Layers in a forest garden: 

Canopy or Tall Tree Layer
Sub-Canopy/Large Shrub Layer
Shrub Layer
Herbaceous Layer
Ground cover/Creeper Layer
Underground Layer
Vertical/Climber Layer
Aquatic/Wetland Layer
Fungal Layer