Episode-1258- Food Forest Questions and Answers – Part Two

Two weeks ago I did a show called Food Forestry and How it Actually Works.  In that show I asked for specific food forest questions.  The response was so heavy that a week ago I did Episode-1251- Food Forest Questions and Answers – Part One and wasn’t able to cover all the questions by a long shot.  So today we have part two.

If you didn’t listen to the first two shows, you might want to do so before listening to this show. The reason being is that this show is a direct result of questions that I asked the audience to send me at the end of the first show and the answers given on the second one. Hence much of what was covered there I will be assuming you have already heard today.

The reality is a food forest is both simple and quite complex at the same time. The complexity is based on the system that develops, the massive numbers of interrelationships and the fungal networks, guilds, etc that are formed.

Join Me Today As I Answer Your Questions Including…

  • What is the human element in maintaining and established forest
  • When, where and how do animals fit into forest establishment and management
  • How can you tweak guilds and add species after establishment
  • Top support trees for temperate climates
  • Using so called “invasive species” in permaculture
  • Guiding with trees like black walnut and pecan that are alleopathic
  • Where to plant support trees and how far to space them
  • The Judas tree as a support tree
  • What is “texture in a landscape”

Resources for today’s show…

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14 Responses to Episode-1258- Food Forest Questions and Answers – Part Two

  1. beewhispererwyosurvival

    I am looking for Nicks contact. I am doing a program here in Wyoming. He bid on the MEAD and is coming to do a two day course.
    can you have him contact me or give me contact info.
    thank you

  2. hey, why is this in the blog section and not in the podcast section?
    Will listen tonight. thanks.

  3. I love it when you answer permaculture questions! Looking forward to your next Q&A!

  4. Jack,

    Have you heard of the tree Barreta (Helietta parvifolia)? It’s a very hard wood, rot resistant. We used to cut it out of the Sierra Madre mountains for fencing posts. Harder than mesquite, faster growing and straight. It’s tolerant to cold snaps in the 20’s but it’s happiest in dry, hot weather. It require almost no water, grows great in rocky and poor soils. I bet it would make a great understory tree.


  5. Very glad to hear you talking about mimosa. (It’s something like, al -biz-ee-ah

    I tried to find it in Mollison’s Design Manual, and Jacke’s Forest Garden, I didn’t see it in either one. I’m in GA and it grows pretty much everywhere. It was growing in the back yard and I just thought by looking at it that it had to be nitrogen fixing. I started using it as a support species, heavily this summer. And then you brought it up a little while ago and to my knowledge your the first one to talk about it extensively.

    I did find it mentioned, finally, in Mollisons, Introduction to Permaculture. He talks about it a good bit in there. I’d had that book several years but didn’t remember it being in there. I love the form of the tree, it looks like it’s African or something. A lot of people curse them now though because the seed pods make a mess on their grass. They try to cut it and it just keeps coming back. lol

  6. Where can you find the permaculture playing cards?

  7. AJ in Michigan

    Another great food forest episode. Truly enjoyable. I feel sorry if there’s preppers/survivalists that don’t get the permaculture connection – it just makes so much sense. Thanks for all you do!

  8. How about a Permaculture Web/Mobile app. The user enters their zip and/or their soil test info (if they have it) and it spits out a list of plants/trees/herbs/shrubs into the appropriate Permaculture Categories & Zones/Sectors, and it would be broken down by support/edible/aesthetics.

    I keep hearing you and Paul Wheaton say “It Depends” when people ask you what they should plant this could potentially solve it. The Plants for a Future site doesn’t let the user enter their zip code and have it spit out what should work in that area. I did see that they offered the Plants database on cd/dvd and it has all the data in ascii with scripts that allows it to be imported into MySQL. Most of the work is done…just add a few more things to it for the permaculture aspect and you got a workable app.

    The web version could also give you a pdf file that you could save/print for later. I haven’t taken a PDC so there is probably some more info that could be added to this like understory category…and probably tons of other stuff.

    Unfortunately I am not a developer…just a DBA 🙁 but there might be someone out in the audience than can take this idea and run with it.

  9. I found something called a ‘bee tree’ (tetradium daniellii) in a beekeeping forum. It is supposed to be a prodigious nectar producer.
    A person there is selling the seeds.
    Here’s the link to the thread:

    I’ll be ordering some seeds soon.

  10. Regarding Kudzu. Man I’ve had this discussion numerous times with people (to include native plant zealots).

    Turns out Kudzu is completely 100% healthy to eat and is a staple in places in East Asia. Meaning each piece of it, is not only edible, but is also healthy (and supposedly is good to eat, I hadn’t tried it yet). Go figure. It’s also extremely good for forage/browse by animals. How do you control kudzu? Allow animals to go bat shit crazy on it. hah.

  11. Invasive species don’t kill people, modern agriculture kills people…
    I’m taking, and loving a PDC from Hemenway right now, on your advice. Thanks Jack!

  12. Elaeagnus umbellata autumn olive
    Why I would not consideration autumn olive in a food forest for where I live (western NC).
    I’m not sure how autumn olive responds in Texas, but in North Carolina it is very aggressive forming dense monocultures in established forest, forest edge, and open areas. Autumn olive out-competes many native species forming a dense shady area that naturally shade tolerant species can’t get established in changing natural succession.
    While autumn olive has many beneficial attributes and the ability to grow on relatively infertile and/or severally damaged soils, it will likely displace native plants in the nearby areas. Autumn olive is a prolific seeder producing more than 65,000 seeds per plant in 1 year’s time. The seeds are favored by birds as a food source that persists late into winter getting deposited over several miles, advancing the spread of the species.
    In many areas, exotic (non-native) invasive (spreads prolifically, undesirably, and/or harmfully) have no natural checks to keep them balanced (disease, insect, animal, etc). In these circumstances native plants that do have to contend with these things are disadvantaged.
    On a side note black locust Robinia pseudoacacia is not native to Texas, but it is at least on the same continent and has been naturalized there for many years. Aside from being a legume, black locust has a very extensive, fine root system. Most trees have a root spread that roughly matches its bole. Black locust has a shallow root spread approximately 1 ½ times that of its bole, making it a great soil retention species.
    Black locust does best on moist soils with limestone origin and should do well planted below the swells, but the tree is very drought hardy and could be planted pretty much anywhere on your property as long as it remains a dominate tree in the canopy (extremely shade intolerant species).
    I look forward to seeing how your property progresses and your evaluation of things learned. Thank you for making things like this public. It helps us all to see things from a different perspective and plan for our own future endeavors.
    Best wishes,