Permaculture Orchards & Forest Gardening
At Brook End we have inherited a small orchard with a number of fruit trees and a variety of apples. During this focus of the output period I wanted to explore how to best use this space which is designed to be less maintenance than other areas.
To fulfil this design challenge I looked at examples of orchard re-designs including Permalot in the Czech Republic and the 5 acre orchard renovation designed by Ethan Roland from Appleseed Permaculture and his intern team. Both designs indicated that forest gardening is the key design strategy when working with established fruit trees or as Andy Goldring CEO of the Permaculture Association describes, 'the eco-functional intensification of orchards'.
This led me to explore the aims and features of forest gardens and look at species choice in UK example sites Old Slenningford Farm and Harlow Carr in Yorkshire. From this I identified aims for our Brook End orchard, the full details of which an be found here.
The process is clear:
Identify design challenges > Seek examples > Recognise how principles & design thinking have been applied > Personalise to own situation