Food forest understory layer (first stage)

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The understory layer of the food forest is beginning to take shape. The process has a number of different stages, beginning with identifying various species, finding seedlings or seeds, planting to see what environment they like best, and finally planting out a meaningful number of specimens in one spot. Some plants like the shady environment, like coffee for example, others adapt to it. For example we have found that pineapple does quite well, in fact it produces very delicious fruits, if planted in shade, without any care whatsoever. If planted in full sun like commercial planters do, it will grow quicker, but requires more attention, especially watering which we cannot do in a food forest setting. A selection of plants we have begun to introduce contains various medicinal roots of the turmeric (Curcuma) and ginger (Zingiber) families, as well as some plants used as herbal teas like ไผ่จืด (Pogonatherum paniceum),ใบเตย (Pandanus leaf) and กระเจี๊ยบแดง (Hibiscus sabdariffa).

We have also tried common perennial vegetables like ชะอม (Acacia pennata), ผักแคร์ (Synedrella nodiflora) and ผักหวานบ้าน (Sauropus androgynus) and fruits like pineapple and coffee.

We often try the same plant in different areas and see what happens, an application of the 1st principle in permaculture, Observe and Interact, and we hopefully learn something. When we understand where some of these plants grow best, we are ready for planting them out in larger groupings, which are easier to care for and to harvest.

We are currently trying out a larger selection of medicinal herbs and roots, which will be the subject of a future post.

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Author: marco

growing food and making do with less

5 thoughts on “Food forest understory layer (first stage)

  1. Wow Marco, it’s all coming together very nicely. Thanks for sharing all the good info. It’s hard to find info on tropical food forest and you have photos and scientific names of the plants too. Maybe you can publish a book in future if you document the progress well!

    • Thank you Thomas, I am glad you find it interesting, I wish I had more time for this stuff, but as you know we are always quite busy. I have been working on a tree list for the hardwood forest, which should be ready soon. This week we start the natural building internship, so no free time until October now….

  2. please join our group and post your blessings at Food forests for healing & health https://www.facebook.com/groups/361195824263441/

    looks really good , thank you so much, we gratefully appreciate you , sending blessings from Fruit forests & Forest gardens for healing & health https://www.facebook.com/Fruit-forests-Forest-gardens-for-healing-health-347638495382415/

  3. please join our group and post your blessings at Food forests for healing & health https://www.facebook.com/groups/361195824263441/

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