DVD Review “Establishing a Food Forest” Geoff Lawton

January 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Food Forest, Forest Gardening

If you are planning to establish a food forest, this DVD is a must watch. As with all of Geoff Lawton’s videos, the production quality is top notch, and the concepts are entertaining and informative.

Establishing a Food Forest

Major Concepts Covered in “Establishing a Food Forest”


Establishing a Food Forest on Swales: It seems like swales are in every video, but again they never really show how to build them. I still don’t know what type of equipment they used to build the swales, and how it was used. It is a really cool concept though.


The Seven Layer Forest: This is a cool concept to understand if you want to build a food forest, and Geoff does a nice job explaining it. Basically, you have your canopy layer (large trees), understory layer (smaller trees), shrub layer, herbaceous layer, vine layer, groundcover layer, and the root layer.


The Succession of a Food Forest: Geoff takes you through the various stages of succession as a food forest reaches maturity. He talks a lot about using nitrogen fixing plants to nurture your productive trees. He also does a great job of explaining how to “chop and drop”. He cuts back his small nitrogen fixing trees at about 5 feet or so and drops the branches as mulch and fertilizer around his productive trees.


 Using Chickens to Establish a Food Forest: This is a great way to integrate poultry into a permaculture design.


The Tropics are Highlighted: Everything is in the tropics, so if you are in the temperate region like me, most of the plants won’t work, although they were fun to see. I would love to be able to grow jack fruit, which yields the biggest fruit in existence, or a rose apple tree. To this day, the rose apple that I had in Panama was the best piece of fruit I have ever had in my life.

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