The New Alabama Food Forest


Earlier this week I began planting a brand new meals forest in Alabama. Though my land is rented, we actually don’t know how lengthy we’ll be right here, so why not plant?

Heck, I planted a meals forest on the land I personal within the Caribbean, not realizing I might be leaving it the subsequent yr. This is par for the course.

But wandering apart, the brand new Alabama Food Forest Project shall be an attention-grabbing one for a number of causes.

First, it’s colder than my earlier initiatives by a half-zone. We’re not going to have the ability to do a lot with tropicals and must give attention to temperate species.

Second, we’re beginning this mission in an already wooded space as an alternative of on a garden. There is already a whole lot of fungi and natural matter within the soil, which needs to be good for younger timber.

You can see the start of the mission on this video, which is just too lengthy and rambly, however folks nonetheless appear to love it:

Yesterday my brother Brian the Firefighter and I cleared a a lot larger chunk of the realm. The soil appears higher than the soil within the backyard, so hopefully the timber and crops we add will thrive.

The cover timber I’m planning embody pecan, chestnut, mulberry and pear. Understory needs to be apples, peaches, goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, smaller mulberries, cassava and chaya. Nitrogen fixers embody mimosa, black locust, Leucaena and Enterolobium and coral bean (if I can get among the latter two). As I propagate T. diversifolia, I’ll plant them throughout as properly. The floor cowl needs to be principally pumpkins and candy potatoes for starters.

I’ll get a weed torch to manage the return of the numerous Smilax crops from beneath – this space was loaded with vines and I’ve the scrapes on my arms to show it. Torching them appears simpler than making an attempt to dig all of them up. Digging is a nightmare with what number of timber roots are within the floor. It’s like making an attempt to dig by way of woven baskets.

Unlike the grocery row gardens I’m constructing, this meals forest can have extra of a flowing, pure really feel. I’m making it with what I name the “island method,” planting scattered tree guilds with paths in between. It ought to actually take form over the subsequent few months. We have a whole lot of tree ready to be planted – and loads of seeds, too!

Stay tuned.

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