Each of these different layers is not only producing food for our consumption, but food and habitat for wildlife. The reason no chemical pesticides are required in our food forests, is that each layer has a predator that eats the insects that may harm the crops. Further more, as the wildlife within the forest defecate they spread more seeds and fertilise the ground bolstering the rotting vegetation to create healthy soil, and a self-sustaining ecosystem of renewal and regeneration. The forest looks after itself, producing more, or less with the abundance of each integral part.
What is permaculture?
Permaculture is a holistic term used to describe sustainable ways of living. Permaculture stands for ‘permanent agriculture’. In a practical sense, it is the method of developing sustainable ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems universally accessible to everyone, and anywhere.
Permaculture both as a practical application and a philosophy moves away from the consumer, material framework we currently use, and into a more sustainable and progressive framework. It looks to create harmony in all things, and assume a ‘less is more’ outlook, whilst still meeting social needs. By working with the natural world in a caring and nourishing way, we can develop an ecologically sound way of living that benefits people and place at a time when we as a species have never needed it more.
Permaculture is an ecological design that encompasses everything from our cityscapes, to our natural landscapes. It is not exclusive, it can be practiced by everyone, everywhere, and the FFP wants to cascade that knowledge into the wider sphere and work with local communities to establish food forests to galvanise the health and wellbeing of people and place.
Food Forests are a self-regulating and low maintenance sustainable form of plant-based agriculture. More practically termed ‘agroforestry’ it is a system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans, whilst working in harmony with nature. We will be working with communities to establish food forests all over the UK, to help people to rediscover their connection with the natural world, and perhaps discover themselves in the process.