Backyard Urban Food Forest Design

Discussion in 'General chat' started by Naveed, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Naveed

    Naveed Junior Member

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    Hello,

    I live in Central NJ and am trying to establish a food forest for experience in permaculture, self-sufficiency, aesthetics, etc. I have a degree in Agriculture but have not taken a pdc course. Because I live in suburbia I would only like food bearing trees on my front yard but anything can go in the back. I do extensive vegetable gardening in the summer but would really like a design that can give me the most food per sq ft. If anyone can PM me if they're interested and I can email them sq footage of front and back yard as well as pictures of the site. If someone can quote me an affordable price, I can compensate them through paypal. I looked on Permaculture worldwide network and was not able to get in touch with anyone in my area. I sent some emails but got no replies.
    Thanks
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
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    you really must do a PDC Naveed. With your background in agriculture and vegetable production you are best placed to do the design yourself plus there is so many more benifits to having done a PDC outside design. We need to get over the "living in suburbia" and realize the importance of divertity and celebrate the beauty. A food forest will have plants that give to the system in ways that may not seem productive to you and can not be measured as output but are essential for the productivity of the system in the long run. A food forest in suburbia may not be the best use of the land for food production and the intensive gardening may be just the thing for you. All this systems thinking will come to you if you take a PDC as they are more about the way you aproach life than about how to grow things.
    Good luck on your journey.
     
  3. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    +1

    Designing your own garden will give you plenty of permaculture experience to boot. I'd strongly suggest taking a PDC also.
     
  4. Naveed

    Naveed Junior Member

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    Thanks. I totally agree with you and I know that the food forest will not give me more yield than my intensive gardening methods. But on my front lawn I basically wanted a whole micro-ecosystem and I might still grow in beds in the backyard with fruit trees in the middle. I do want it for both aesthetics and scientific and studying purposes. I want to see how much will grow with as little intervention as possible.

    I'm trying to save up so I can take a PDC in the summer. And I'm trying my best to save a couple tax returns so in a couple years I can do my internship at Zaytuna Farm.
     
  5. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Hi Naveed

    There are heaps of articles and videos online about urban permaculture. If you can't do a PDC soon, try getting Bill Mollison's book "Introduction to Permaculture". I woouldn't wait to do a PDC if it is an urban situation you are in. The book will show you about swales, food forests, soils, guilds etc. As with most of this, get the framework of knowledge and get stuck into it. Experiment and ask questions.

    good luck.
     
  6. Naveed

    Naveed Junior Member

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    I have the introduction to permaculture book and have studied it. My concern is actually with spacing. I find that there is so much more volume of trees and plants in a smaller space than in the traditional agriculture techniques. This is why I wanted someone to design the layout.
     
  7. matto

    matto Junior Member

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  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Getting the big 'permanent' structures placed properly would be the main focus. In my PDC the order was - water, access, structures. So things like swales and drains and ponds and tanks get put in first because there are only certain places that they can logically go and water is essential. Then access - paths, driveway etc. Then structures - shed, pergola etc - though you can design these in such a way that you can shift them later if they don't work.

    Once you have mapped them into place you'll probably find that there starts to be some obvious approaches to planting. Big things at the back, little things at the front, planting so that you avoid adding to the shade on areas where you want sun (in the northern hemisphere that will mean putting your bigger trees along the northern property border. Apart from the largest of trees, all other plants can be moved, garden beds shifted, pots moved - so don't get too tied up in knots about planning that amount of detail. You won't really know how well it all works until it has been established for a while.

    Deliberately using approaches that are not permanent will allow you to experiment with what will work best. So for e.g. you could use hay bales to make garden beds rather than using brickwork. In a year or two if it works out that that really is a good place for a garden bed you can do it then, and if it wasn't then it is easy to pull it apart and start again.
     
  9. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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