The early results are encouraging, most of the trees we planted have survived and are beginning to thrive and it looks like in three to four years there will be a respectable young food forest. In the “after” picture you can still see the neighbours’ roof, but not for long, on the left is our new guest room, which hopefully we will finish in the next couple of months and which should also disappear from view as the trees around it grow.
We have planted many fruit trees as well as fast growing legume trees like pigeon pea, cassia, leucena, acacia and sesbania. In between we have planted some flower trees like frangipani and orchid tree and other stuff, as well as some shorter lived fruits like papaya and more shrub like fruits like mulberry, pomegranate, lime and guava, there are bananas everywhere.
A food forest should have many perennial vegetables and herbs, malabar spinach, chaya, chayote, moringa, thai eggplant, chillies, lemongrass and lots of leaves that thai people fry with their curries or boil in soups, as well as cassava, sweet potato and morning glory and pumpkins which are easy. We grow turmeric, galangal, ginger and other roots with beautiful leaves and flowers that do not need any attention at all, sometimes we scatter rosella and sorghum, rosella pods make a nice juice the leaves are edible, sorghum goes to the chickens, who like it a lot.
Some stuff dies, some we forget about as the weeds take over, some we get to eat, some gets eaten by insects and such, we are still very primitive gardeners, but slowly the garden beds are getting better, we have recently planted asparagus which we have grown from seed and so far it looks good.
We use some of the herbs to make a fermented juice that we spray on the fruit trees to put insects off, and banana, starfruit and papaya for another juice that can be mixed when we make a new compost pile, both juices use micro organisms supplied by the thai agricultural development offices.