Video: Permaculture Trio

This video is really three different views of permaculture gardens rolled into one. Notes below the video.

##Forest Gardening with Robert Hart

[Robert Hart]( was born on 1 April 1913, and died on 7 March 2000. He was a vegan (eating around 90% raw food) who took up farming at Wenlock Edge, in Shropshire.

– garden is on the site of an ancient Celtic monastery
– inspired by the urge to create a practical solution to world hunger
– also cared for his handicapped brother, Lacon, born with severe learning difficulties
– “vision was to plant a miniature edible forest to fulfil the needs of a healthy diet in beautiful surroundings”
– garden was established in the early 1960s
– success depends upon planting in layers to mimic nature
– 7 storeys
– **canopy layer:** tall, light-demanding trees e.g. mature fruit trees
– **low-tree layer:** short, shade-tolerant trees e.g. smaller nuts and fruit trees, and dwarf fruit varieties
– **shrub layer:** bushes e.g. currants and berries
– **herbaceous layer:** perennial vegetables and herbs
– **ground cover layer:** horizontal spreading plants e.g. strawberries
– **rhizosphere:** underground area, plants grown for roots/tubers
– **vertical layer:** climbers, creepers, vines
– Mahatma Gandhi was the inspiration, with his vision of a world order of democratic, self-sustaining small communities
– some of the trees have been planted in memory of inspirational figures
– garden is kept mulched all year
– mulch suppresses weeds, maintains desirable soil temperature, retains moisture, feeds microorganisms
– good compost contains a wide variety of organic materials
– shredded woody material is excellent for the compost
– no chemicals used, but foliar sprays of liquid comfrey, nettles etc
– attention paid to the relationships between different plants (companion planting)
– sells produce to local greengrocer and whole-food restaurant
– advice on how to start a forest garden from scratch:
– start an orchard of standard fruit trees, planted at the recommended spacing (20 ft apart)
– plant dwarf trees in between the standard trees
– plant bushes (e.g. currants, gooseberries) in between the trees
– plant herbs and perennials at the ground level
– once established, the main work is cutting back plants so they don’t encroach on each other too much, and keeping the soil well-mulched
– forest gardens give maximum output for minimum labour

##Plants For A Future (PFAF) with Ken Fern

– (15:50) profile of Ken Fern, building a farm in Cornwall using many of Robert’s ideas
– Ken has a massive variety of plants growing on his farm, and goes through some of the more interesting ones
– Ken maintains the [Plants For A Future (PFAF)]( web site and database, listing over 7000 plants that can be grown in the UK

##Mike and Julia Guerra

– (32:10) tiny backyard forest garden in Hartfordshire
– the garden is 75 square metres, and gives 250 kg of food per year (15 tons/acre!), for 2 hours of garden work per week
– was inspired by a Bill Mollison documentary to start growing his own food
– turned their barren backyard into a very productive food garden
– mostly zone 1, intensive herb and vegetable garden
– (39.25) cool strawberry tower
– companion planting
– use warmth of the compost heap to dry shallots or grow seedlings
– growing potatoes in old tyres
– worm farm – “wormery”; use castings, liquid (“worm wee”) for heavy feeders like tomatoes
– greens during winter fight depression


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