How a bare and barren field quickly became a productive and beautiful diverse food forest.
Maddy and Tim Harland, founders of Permaculture magazine, share the successes and failures of their 20-year-old temperate forest garden, which is full of fruits, nuts and berries, as well as a wildflower meadow abundant in beneficial insects and a productive vegetable patch. They explain why it is a biodiverse system that is ‘beyond organic’.
In this second part, Maddy and Tim explain how they have planted for light, microclimates, the seven layers, for beneficial insects and for a healthy diversity of trees.
They grow over 20 varieties of apples, along with pears, medlar, walnut, cobnuts, mulberries, Nepalese and Szechuan peppers, figs, soft fruit including clove currants and Nepalese raspberry, and medicinal and herbal plants.
Their aim is to create a feel of subtropical abundance in a cool climate by clever design and the careful selection of trees and plants that will thrive in their alkaline conditions. Their philosophy is that if it thrives on chalk it will probably thrive elsewhere and they are not afraid to trial species and varieties and remove them if they don’t succeed.
Filmed by Trilight Entertainment
Edited by Rozie Apps at Permaculture magazine