From a bare field to a staggeringly productive and beautiful food forest in just a few years, full of beneficial insects, amphibians, birds and mammals. This is a story of natural regeneration at its best.
Maddy and Tim Harland, founders of Permaculture magazine, share how they created their temperate forest garden over 20 years ago in the South Downs National Park in Hampshire, England.
They explain the planning and planting, the experiments to find what plants grow well in their chalky soil and how they created a wildflower meadow to heal the barren soil that had been mined by industrial farming practices.
Maddy and Tim grow over 20 varieties of apples, along with pears, medlar, peach under glass and outside, walnut, cobnuts, mulberries, Nepalese and Szechuan peppers, Juneberry, 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
Maddy and Tim are holding two forest garden days at their property on 14 May and 1 October 2016. Limited to 12 places. For more information email tim[at]permaculture.co.uk