Today’s programme 9.45 – 10.00 Tea/ coffee 10.00Welcome, introductions 10.15 Talk on forest gardens 11.00Tour, planting demonstration and planting Derby Telegraph 12.30Lunch 2.00Planting Melbourne Village Voice 3.00 Feedback and finish
What is a Forest Garden? A garden modelled on natural woodland Utilises plants of direct and indirect benefit to people Contains edible plants All layers of the woodland are utilised – large trees, small trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, annuals, root crops and climbers Planted to maximise positive interactions (eg fertility) and minimise negative interactions (eg pests and diseases)
What is a Forest Garden? Useful – food, eg fruit, nuts, salads, flowers, vegetables, herbs - timber, medicines, dyes, craft materials, tying materials, garden canes, fodder, bee plants, and more! Low-maintenance after initial planting, compared to annual production. Also known as “woodland gardens”, “food forests” “agroforestry” Can be any size – if your garden can fit in a tree, it can become a forest garden Part of a design philosophy called Permaculture.
What is Permaculture? The creation of sustainable, agriculturally productive, non-polluting and healthy settlements Organic Systems that mimic natural eco-systems A design approach, incorporating an ethical framework (earth care, people care and fair shares) A set of principles to follow when designing systems Applied common sense Easy to study in an introductory weekend; a part-time Permaculture Design Certificate or a follow-on Diploma.
Why here at St Brides? 9 acre smallholding, formerly medieval monastery and farm since c1600 An experiment in co-generational living! Some level of self-sufficiency – fruit and veg, chickens, turkeys, bees, Angora goats (fleece) Traditional veg beds, soft fruit beds, an orchard (apples, pears, plums and cherries), greenhouse, herb gardens The next step is to have a low-maintenance edible woodland – introduce new varieties, eg nuts, unusual fruits, dye materials An opportunity to educate/inform/ improve resilience locally A “trial-run” for the Melbourne Community Woodland
National Forest Transforming 200 square miles across the Midlands 8 million new trees already planted National Forest offer grants for planting trees including orchards, free trees for back gardens and practical support for everyone with a garden or land in the National Forest area. National Forest Wood Fair Beacon Hill, August bank holiday Sunday and Monday
Changing Landscapes at St Brides National Forest Changing Landscapes Scheme - convert around 6 acres to woodland and parkland – the Forest Garden is in the scheme. Also “edible parkland”, ponds, stream, traditional native broadleaf planting for timber (to fuel woodburner/hotwater/heat ing). A permaculture design Increased public access, education.
Some examples – small and large Martin Crawford’s Garden, Dartington, Devon Robert Hart – Wenlock Edge, Shropshire
Clarence House - the Home of Prince Charles Chickenshack housing co-op North Wales
Ecoworks Nottingham – St Ann’s Allotments Silverhill Primar School Derby
Forest Garden creation Fertility – nitrogen fixers (eg Alder, Eleagnus) mineral accumulators (eg comfrey) Orientation/Shade – placing of plants Humidity – rainfall and soil moisture Temperature/exposure Soil pH Soil compaction Draw a plan – consider ultimate size of trees Can you use existing trees/plants/shrubs?
Forest Garden Creation When? – trees planted bare-root Nov – March - tender trees planted March to April - Ground-cover plants and herbaceous perennials best planted Spring Mulching – to kill grass/weeds, prevents moisture loss – Chipped bark (composted), straw, grass mowings – Tree mulch mats (biodegradable), ground-cover fabric, thick cardboard, newspapers, old carpet – For perennials (not trees) add fertility materials under mulch if required (leafmould, organic mushroom compost, garden compost, manure) – Sheet mulching in advance for 6 – 12 months (or pigs or chickens) – Sowing green manure – Mycorrhizal treatment A staged approach
How do forest gardens fit? All shapes and sizes Part of a new way at looking at forestry? Back-garden food forests Community food forests Low maintenance Part of the transition to a re-localised economy
Who are Melbourne Area Transition? Part of the Transition Network A group of local people Only 1 year old Ways to make Melbourne area more sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change and the end of cheap oil Successes – 10kw solar pv on Melbourne Parish Church, domestic solar buying group, community woodland, promoting insulation and energy saving, beekeeping evening, talks to local groups, bringing people together. 2012 – programme of events (3 rd Wednesday evening) www.melbournetransition.org – join Yahoo group www.melbournetransition.org
Melbourne community woodland 19 hectares owned by Forestry Commission next to Robin Wood Blank canvas plus use of Robin Wood – existing large woodland Community wish to plant a Forest Garden/orchards and grow other fruit/edibles Ideas include: amphitheatre, a venue for celebrations, a course centre, ponds, leisure opportunities (eg mountain biking, horseriding) An example of community permaculture Input from individuals and local groups An exciting project showcasing the future of local food, resource production and community engagement.
Resources Creating a Forest Garden by Martin Crawford How to Make a Forest Garden by Patrick Whitefield Forest Gardening by Robert Hart Suppliers: Agroforestry Research Trust (Martin Crawford) www.agroforestry.co.uk Cool temperate (Phil Corbett) (near Nottingham) www.cooltemperate.co.uk Coles Nurseries, Thurnby, Leics www.colesnurseries.co.uk Deacon’s Nurseries (fruit trees, isle of wight) www.deaconsnurseryfruits.co.uk Buckingham Nurseries (edible hazelnuts) www.hedging.co.ukwww.hedging.co.uk Staunton Harold Nurseries