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Guide to maintaining the edible forest

  • The edible forest is a forest that needs to be lived, creating a dialogue, an exchange. In this interview concrete actions are carried out and the response of the forest is recovered.

12 February 2024 - 07:18

The creation of a forest consists in repeating the interactions that occur in nature, seeking the permanence and independence of the ecosystem over time. Considering the above, we must design a space and interaction time that allows a significant response by emitting a minimum energy. A brief guide to these actions is:

Design: It is important to carry out a process of reflection, since once the plantations are completed the trees will not be moved. In this section we have to take into account: water movement, accesses, constructions, use of animals, knowledge, money, time...

Planting: Make plantations according to design. It is not necessary for everyone to do so in the same year, it is appropriate for the process to be taken without haste. A good planting season could be the February, Spring area for both citrus and avocados.

– Winter pruning: Historically, pruning has been done in winter. However, experience says that winter is not the ideal time to prune the tree violently. In winter pruning, the main tips are fought to cut off attacks from diseased branches, pods or animals and kill those born from the ass.

Summer green pruning: In the green zone the main pruning is carried out, forming the structure of the tree. The right time occurs when the leaf is completed completely, towards the month of June, when the tree has the greatest ability to close the wound.

– Siega: This is a work to be done with the mower to, once cut, gather the grass around the back of the trees. This will protect the land close to the tree and better preserve the water. If weed control is carried out with animals, it is interesting to plan and consider in the design the alternative grazing described by André Voisin.

Irrigation: It is essential to keep the soil wet during the first years of the tree. Depending on the year you will need more or less water and will not need irrigation for a few years.

"Cut and throw": This is a widespread practice in permaculture. The objectives are biomass generation and soil fertilisation and structuring. Any species, such as acacia, paulonia or eucalyptus, can be used. Trees of good reappearance are the most used, once planted, and they can be cut repeatedly for years.

Unforeseen: Throughout this process there are a number of unplanned events that we must take into account. In the process of constitution, wild animals such as the extraction of trees or the cooking of the skin can come into play. Plastic or metal protectors can be used to prevent them.

In the current climate change context, many disasters can occur. There is not much to do against them, but if they occur, we will have to be prepared to help the forest and reduce the damage.

This guide summarizes the actions to maintain an edible forest in order to plan our energy and strength. Even if it seems like a great job, the important thing is to live the process so that one day you can enjoy the fruits. We just need to start ... Act!


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