Author Topic: Building a food forest in a native forest  (Read 3469 times)

Offline michaelnz

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Building a food forest in a native forest
« on: June 11, 2016, 03:27:41 PM »
 I am building a food forest in our native bush in New Zealand. My goal is to replace gorse (large prickly pest plant) with fruit trees and berries etc.
There are all ready blackberries in the bush with is mostly made up of Manuka (leptospermum) about 3-4 meters high.

Is it better to start in the cleared areas in the middle of the forest or on the edge where there is more light.

Zone 10
North facing slope
Southern Hemisphere
Creak at bottom of slope

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Building a food forest in a native forest
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2016, 08:25:02 PM »
Quote
Is it better to start in the cleared areas in the middle of the forest or on the edge where there is more light.

That would depend on the specific site, there is a case to be made for either. Soils in deep forest are very rich, on edges there will be more light, but also more seeds to compete with what you plant and increased wildlife activity (both good and bad).

Given the propensity of Gorse to spread by seed, I might be inclined to start along the edges, planting dense vegetation as a windbreak to keep it from encroaching on the interior planting area. Fire is my go-to control method for plants like that, so a fire-resistant species (deep rooted, runnering succulent plant) may be best. A row of Pitaya with passion flower growing up them for example would be fairly fire resistant if you needed to break out a flame thrower and clear the gorse, but would also keep seeds from spreading (or reduce the spread at least) and produce fruit at the same time.

Of course, if you're trying to plant something specific, the right answer to your question will be as much determined by that plant species as any other factor.

For those in North America who are reading this question, NZ Zone 10 is a minimum average annual temperature of 30°F (-1.1°C) so frost is possible but extremely mild.


Offline 1greenman

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Re: Building a food forest in a native forest
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 08:38:15 PM »
+1'd you just because you are new and asking good questions!!!

Welcome and I hope you have good luck with your projects!

Thanks!
I am building a food forest in our native bush in New Zealand. My goal is to replace gorse (large prickly pest plant) with fruit trees and berries etc.
There are all ready blackberries in the bush with is mostly made up of Manuka (leptospermum) about 3-4 meters high.

Is it better to start in the cleared areas in the middle of the forest or on the edge where there is more light.

Zone 10
North facing slope
Southern Hemisphere
Creak at bottom of slope

Offline michaelnz

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Re: Building a food forest in a native forest
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2016, 09:44:41 PM »
Thanks. I have been working through the podcasts bu this is a topic that is hard to google.

I have a permaculture consultant who lives down the road but not sure how good they are.

Offline Finster

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Re: Building a food forest in a native forest
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 03:23:25 AM »
In your post you don't say how long you have had the bush block
In my experience the black berries will probably not be productive in less they were specific cultivars planted I would remove them as they will take over the forest
Have you thought of bees if you have Manuka then you have a potential gold mine even if you initially do a 50/50 profit share with a local bee keeper.
The gorse can be mulched/chipped and used around the base of the newly planted fruit trees to deter rabbits and possums ( I would use tree guards as well )

Now is a good time to plant Willow cuttings in the lower creak areas to prevent erosion and to trap nutrients
So many possibilities

https://heritagefoodcrops.org.nz/montys-surprise this is a good apple to plant you could drop Mark an email and see if he has any apples grafted on to 793 or northern Spy
 
if you want grapes or elderberry cuttings PM me and I can send you some and comfrey root cuttings

Regards Finster

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Building a food forest in a native forest
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 07:12:14 AM »
Manuka honey is kind of a niche product (tastes like shit), but there's a huge health-food market for it. Not a bad idea.

If you have a permaculture designer living down the street from you, by all means use them. It's true, there is a highly variable level of expertise in the field. Some have worked in every corner of the world and have a wealth of experience, some have just taken a few classes and understand the principals academically, but haven't really applied that knowledge on any large scale. You're definitely right to question experience. However, they're operating right in your backyard, they know the location, soil types, native plants. They have the "Home field advantage" so to speak. Even if they're not an expert, everyone has to begin somewhere, and they would value an opportunity to work with land they already know. I would trust that their knowledge is likely more applicable to your situation than anything you're going to find online. It's worth talking to them about it.

Offline michaelnz

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Re: Building a food forest in a native forest
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 01:16:48 AM »
Manuka Honey is a big thing here. Definitely putting in a few hives. There is a maximum of two hives allowed on each section under subdivision covenants. However if I plonk them in the middle of the section no one will know how many are there.




Offline michaelnz

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Re: Building a food forest in a native forest
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 01:58:59 PM »
Update: I have 62 trees planted now. Was waiting for title to be processed by government so could not start buiding. Should not have planted the trees but no one seemed to notice/care.

Have sown some green manure (lupin,clover,mustard) and some radish to build the soil.

I have aquired two large haybales to start my compost off. They had been sitting in a puddle so could not be sold as feed so got them for free.

Title through now so we started building this month.  Then I can do more zone 1 stuff once the exterior build is complete.