Transitioning Surfdale Orchard to a Food Forest

We moved 18 Cu M of mulch around the 5 year old trees in the Surfdale community orchard yesterday.

This is a step in replacing the grasses (such as Kikiuyu) with ground cover plants of our choosing (some edible) - to be followed by other (mostly perennial) food plants in the families of root crops, herbs, shrubs and bushes and flowers for the pollinators and our pleasure.

This will result in a multi layered forest garden requiring minimal maintenance, and producing free food for the public who frequent it.

I welcome your comments

Ramial mulch I assume?

Ramial mulch I assume?

Hows this for a community food forest scenario?

Here's a design for a street level community food thats been swimming around my head for a while.

7 families. Community land at the end of the road. A flock of chickens.
Housed in a study transportable pen the chickens scratch clean and fertilise the ground.

Each family tends the chooks one day of the week. In return they take the eggs that day.

Once every 4-6 weeks the families come together (how about a BBQ or shared meal) move the chicken tractor on, plant a Fruit tree but more importantly plant support species in the cleared and fertilised site to cover and protect the soil. Chosen carefully these support species could also provide a yield. Examples could be legumes, pumpkins, water melon, kumara, potatoes, pepinos, silverbeet, Chinese cabbage, berries forage species, whatever. Previous sites are maintained with weeding/pruning/fertilising i.e chop&drop

This means those involved
• can not only enjoy coming together as a group regularly to move the chickens
• they can be confident that there is always someone there to manage the livestock,
• they potentially get ½ dozen eggs for 1 days effort
• and they will also be rewarded with the yield from the support species whilst they wait for the trees to grow.

If more than 7 families want to be involved the more the merrier. Just add another chicken tractor on the designated site, speed up the succession of the food forest whilst growing community further.

Over time the Food Forest develops in scale to suit its community with maintenance/yield rhythmically designed into the system from its inception.