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Growing 500 edible plants in a forest

Instead of neat rows of monoculture, forest gardens combine fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables together in one seemingly wild setting. This type of agroforestry mimics natural ecosystems and uses the space available in a sustainable way. UK-based Martin Crawford is one of the pioneers of forest gardening. Starting out with a flat field in 1994, his land has been transformed into a woodland and serves as an educational resource for others interested in forest gardening.

In this short film by Thomas Regnault, Martin Crawford explains how layers of canopy trees, small trees, shrubs, perennials, ground cover or carpeting plants, root crops, as well as climbers and vines, can yield an abundant garden of 500 edible plants.

Could this natural approach to food production be a more sustainable and resilient way to live off the land in the face of extreme weather events?

forest gardening
Read more about Crawford’s work at The Agroforestry Research Trust.

Watch these related videos next: Using seawater and sunlight to grow sustainable food in the desert, aeroponic vertical farming in Newark, and how can weaver ants protect an entire orchard?

Bonus: Studying the oak, caterpillar, great tit food chain and Do Cities Need More Green Roofs?

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