Forest Gardens With Edible Plants Could Be The Key For A Sustainable Future
Our future survival could lie in forest gardens.
In the early years of the 1900s, humans started implementing the practice of single-crop farming also known as monoculture. This is harmful to the soil as without rotating the harvesting crops, nutrients within the soil gradually deplete and become obsolete. To counter this, society introduced fertilizers which fostered further damage to the eco-system as a result of the harmful chemical compounds present within these substances. Prior to these malpractices on the part of man, nature was doing well as prehistoric mean co-operated with her.
Recently, a group of individuals are now following the steps of their pre-historic counterparts and are starting to reap nature's benefits. They are implementing forest gardens that emulate the natural ecosystems which in turn is also restoring the soil along with its nutrients. British forest gardening pioneer, Martin Crawford, states that the practice of having annual plants for food production is far from normal. In fact, this phenomenon rarely occurs within nature. He went on to state that having forested or semi-forested systems are much more suitable to nature's natural ecosystem.
The newly-implemented forest garden system is similar to natural eco-systems in that the plants are perennial, have a long life span and also reseed themselves. Within the garden are various levels, each offering a different role, examples are: offering shade, support, nutrition, and wind protection.
These levels tend to consist of a wide variety of fauna including the likes of tall canopy trees, shorter trees, shrubs, bushes, and vines. In order to effectively start a forest garden, a lot of time needs to be invested. However, this will all be worth it in the end as the forest garden will take care of itself for years to come. The only work left would be then to reap what one has sown.
The diversity of the forest garden enables it to be very resilient against the harshest and most unpredictable weather conditions. He went on to state that the future's weather patterns will be in a similar state and as such having a forest garden could prove to be very beneficial in such circumstances. Crawford began his forest garden journey in the year 1994, with just a flat field. Since then, his work has transformed into a thriving, lush and beautiful garden that now holds over five hundred edible plants. He states that it now takes care of itself, requiring just a few hours of maintenance each month.
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A Forest Garden With 500 Edible Plants: