Permaculture is an ecologically sound system for sustainability by minimising inputs and recycling all potential wastes into the system. Forest Gardening, or agroforestry, takes on the principles of permaculture and is arguably the oldest form of land use known to mankind.
The Forest Garden is an oasis of edible plant species which takes its vision from nature and specifically the natural ecology of a young forest. Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural or "wild" habitat for food, medicinal, or other purposes. Only the branches or flowers are taken and the living plant is left.
The design of the planting in a Forest Garden is crucial in order to achieve a successful balance. The aim is to plant utilising the seven different layers: the root layer, ground cover, herb layer, fruiting shrubs, dwarf trees, tree canopy layer and the high canopy or vertical layer. A well considered and diverse planting scheme will help insure against the threat of disease or disasters.
Forest Garden Shovelstrode is an ongoing project aimed at inspiring other people to make use of any small piece of land and to live a more self sufficient, sustainable and healthy lifestyle.