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Forest / Community Garden Update

Way back in April, we set up a crowdfunder to help us grow fruit and vegetables for the Vegan Cafe , and help establish a Forest Garden here at Rockaway. This is a short film made by Michelle at Bluurg TV to let you know how we are getting on. If you would like to know more, or would like to volunteer, or donate plants/trees etc please contact josh@rockawaypark.co.uk .. And if you would like to donate to the crowdfunder it's at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-rockaway-forest-garden-grow?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer


If you'd like to know more about forest gardens and permaculture in general...

here is the definition from permaculture.org.uk

Forest gardens are food-producing and seek to emulate natural woodland ecosystems as closely as possible.

A forest garden is made-up of mainly perennial plants which are productive or useful and - as its name suggests - plants are stacked or assembled as they may be found in a forest or woodland. There is a universal recognised system of forest planting, but each forest or woodland is uniquely composed of species specific to climate and location.

Most temperate forests consist of seven layers of plants, whilst some successionally-advanced tropical forests may feature up to thirteen layers. The most common seven plant layers are as follows (with an example for forest gardens in temperate climates):

  1. Upper Canopy (Sweet Chestnut)

  2. Lower Canopy or Sub-Canopy (Crab Apple)

  3. Vines and Climbers (Grape)

  4. Shrubs, and understorey bushes (Blackcurrant)

  5. Herbaceous perennials and annuals (Mint)

  6. Ground Cover (Strawberries)

  7. Roots and Rhizosphere (Ground Nut)<

A well-managed garden will yield nuts, fruits, herbs and annual crops. Once a forest garden becomes established, it requires little or no extra energy input and minimal labour, whilst continuing to produce harvestable yields. It is essentially a multi-layered foraging garden, sometimes referred to as a wild or outdoor pantry.

Forest gardens also create a natural habitat for animals and insects and plants with greater pest resilience, producing continual food without annual tilling, pesticides, fertilisers or other high inputs of chemicals or energy.

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