Food forest

Food forest

Once it was common to get some of what you eat from nature. Wild plants and fruits formed part of our daily staple diet. Gathering chestnuts, picking mushrooms or berries, this is no longer commonplace because of the urbanised landscape. By bringing the food forest closer to the built environment and carefully choosing trees and bushes which provide fruit, people get a greater understanding of nature.

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Features of a food forest

An important feature of a food forest is a layered structure of planting for a rich harvest. This creates variation between shady and sunny open spaces. There is an enormous biodiversity in the food forest because of a wealth of varieties. The herb layer and low shrubs provide a great deal of food mainly at the end of spring and beginning of summer. Trees and shrubs generally provide fruit and in the autumn such as apples, pears and nuts.

Food forest in an urban garden

Even in cities where there is no room for a food forest, a solution has been found in the form of an edible garden or roof garden. A good example of a food forest on a roof garden is the planting of nut trees on the Inpsyrium in Cuijk. In that design too, we see a nice variety of edible herbs, low shrubs and (multi-stem) trees. Favourites are Carya illinoinensis - pecan, Cydonia oblonga ‘Vranja’ (quince) and Diospyros lotus (date-plum). Shrubby herbs such as Thymus citriodorus (lemon thyme), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) and Salvia officinalis (common sage) can be harvested all year round.

Ebben Inspyrium roof garden Cuijk
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