[permaculture] food forest productivity

lbsaltzman at aol.com lbsaltzman at aol.com
Thu Mar 12 18:49:50 EDT 2009


Many are mature, but we selected semi-dwarfing root stock for many of the decidious trees - apples, pears, stone fruit.? We have a few trees on dwarf rootstock as well, but they are the exceptions. Last year one 3 year old Dorsett Golden apple tree on dwarfing rootstock?yielded about thirty tasty apples.? Another factor is how wide the trees spread. Some plums and most pears are not that wide. So it is?partially a?question of what tree gets planted where that has allowed us to pack so many in.

It is hard to take photos that really show the whole of a forest garden, but here is a link to some pictures that are about two years old. Soon I have to post new pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/lbsaltzman/FoodForest#

Larry

-----Original Message-----
From: sinergyinaction at netscape.net
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 9:59 am
Subject: Re: [permaculture] food forest productivity




 Hi Larry
are they all mature fruit trees (full size)? they seem to be (to me anyway) a 
lot for such a small patch.
Cheers
Antonio


 


 

-----Original Message-----
From: lbsaltzman at aol.com
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 7:12 pm
Subject: Re: [permaculture] food forest productivity










On approximately a 1/3 acre plot we currently have 102 food bearing trees, the 
majority fruit, but two avocados, 1 almond, 1 macadamia,?and finanally?a 
leucania producing high protein seeds.? We also have scarlet runner beans, 
chayote, berries, artichokes, edible cannas, and on and on..? We are beginning 
to have significant surpluses that are being traded with other members of the 
community we live for food we don't grow ourselves.? Community trading networks 
plus backyard food forests or home-scale agriculture can provide huge quantities 

of food and help make a town or small city food independent.




Larry Saltzman



-----Original Message-----
From: Rain Tenaqiya <raincascadia at yahoo.com>
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 10:48 am
Subject: [permaculture] food forest productivity




Antonio, 
?
The following applies to a complete diet in a Mediterranean climate.? If you are 


only wanting what is usually (in the US) referred to as "produce," then the area 


would be much smaller.? Chestnuts are often treated as a vegetable, but most 
nuts and legumes are treated as grains, which are the staple of most people's 
diets.? Since grain is so important as food and grain cultivation takes up so 
much space and is so unsustainable, we should be trying to grow these, or 
substitutes for these, as well as fruits and vegetables.? On the other hand, 
fruits and vegetables require more fossil fuel for shipping, due to their 
weight, lose more vitamins in transport, and cost more, so it is probably a good 


idea to start with these.
?
My friend was growing enough food for himself and his small son on 4000 square 
feet, following the recommendations of John Jeavons, in nort
hern California. He 
spent a lot of time weeding, due to the sunlight that was being wasted by the 
short annual plants he was growing. We speculated that yields would be higher if 


food trees and other perennials were integrated into the garden, requiring less 
space to feed the same number of people.

The amount of food a given area is able to produce is dependent on many factors: 


the fertility of the soil, the amount of irrigation water available, the climate 


(particularly the length of the growing season for the intended crops), the 
species mix, the amount of work put into it, and the willingness or ability of 
the people eating from the garden to eat what is produced. You also need to 
determine whether you are measuring yield in pounds of food, calories, or 
dollars. If you take average production numbers for orchard monocultures of the 
species you are interested in as your baseline, this will give you a yield below 


that of any food forest you could design. Many nut trees can produce at levels 
similar to grain crops. I haven't done much research on it, but I feel confident 


that most fruit trees outcompete most annual vegetabl
es. Root crops are pretty 
much the only ones that trees have a hard time comparing to, with potatoes being 


the miracle crop
 (and these can even produce in the shade of a food forest). Root crops 
substantially reduce the area required to grow food for a specified number of 
people.?These can be grown in the margins and open spots within food forests, if 


necessary.

So, if you included a diverse number of species that could produce a rounded 
diet, I would guess that 4000 square feet per person is probably a good place to 


start as an estimate. However, on a small scale, it might be difficult to grow 
enough species to produce a rounded diet, just because of the size of most 
trees. I would love to hear of any results that you come up with.

Rain


      
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