Although forest gardening is not well-known, it has been practised around the world since prehistory. In the 1980's [[Robert Hart]] brought forest gardening to the attention of the permaculture community. Since that time the theory and practice of forest gardening has been developed by [[Dave Jacke]], [[Eric Toensmeier]], [[Patrick Whitefield]], and [[Geoff Lawton]] among others. [[Agroforestry]] is a similar practice to forest gardening, but tends to employ more linear plantings ([[alley cropping]]) compared to forest gardening. The various existing forest gardens around the world can be categorized by age (recent or established) or by the climate ([[temperate]], [[arid]], or [[tropical]]).
Compared to conventional methods, food forests may:
Food Forests in the United States==
'''The Rahma Free Health Clinic Edible Forest Snack Garden''' - http://www.indiegogo.com/Rahma-Free-Health-Clinic-Edible-Forest-Garden
'''''The Garden''''' - A documentary on an urban food forest and it's struggle to survive in an environment of capitalistic enterprise of the poor & questionable political interests. "From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future." - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1252486/
Forest Gardens in the UK==
'''Wenlock Edge, Shropshire'''
Run by volunteers. Located North East to Bangor at Henfaes Research Centre, Abergwyngregyn, Gwynedd LL33 0LB.[http://www.mclveganway.org.uk/Publications/New_Leaves/NL93.pdf]
The Tried and Tested Forest Gardens of the World== '''Central American Forest Gardens''' -
Food forests have existed in Central America for thousands of years. The El Pilar Forest Network (http://www.mayaforestgardeners.org/forestgardening.php) continues this tradition today.
"We often think of the rainforest as untouched by humans, or "virgin forest." In reality, it can be understood as the garden of the ancient Maya: the product of millennia of management by forest gardeners who cultivated the cycle of milpa, forest garden, and forest. In fact, 90% of plants in the forest are useful to humans, indicating considerable human influence. The Maya Forest remains the second most biodiverse place in the world (the Amazon forest is the first). The legacy of the ancient Maya forest gardeners is continued by the Maya farmers of the El Pilar Forest Garden Network."
'''Amazonian Food Forest''' -
The tribes of Ancient Amazonia lived within vast "garden cities" with shaping the landscape to suit sustain themselves while simultaneously enriching the already fertile soil. It appears much of the apparently useful planting utilized by the indigenous tribes found within the Amazon rain forest have been predetermined by ancient civilizations. The Amazon is today is subject record logging, oil pollution and many other externally guided influences of recource depletion and ecosystem degradation.
"Forest Garden plots are to be found in various research trials... ...and in small yards throughout the temperate world. A number of studies have looked at forest gardens in the humid tropics, and they can be a significant source of minerals and nutrients, as well as providing income and food security for the owners. Forest Gardens appear in many different societies in the wet tropics and go under various names including: Home gardens in Kerala in South [[India]], [[Nepal]], [[Zambia]], [[Zimbabwe]] and [[Tanzania]]; Kandyan Forest Gardens in [[Sri Lanka]]; huertos familiares, the "family orchards" of [[Mexico]]; and pekarangan, the gardens of "complete design", in Java." -wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Gardening
* '''Robert Hart''' - [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hart_(horticulturist)]
* '''Bill Mollison''' - [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Mollison]
* '''David Holmgren''' - [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Holmgren]
''Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way'' starring Geoff Lawton - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1792050/combined
* '''How to make a Temperate Forest Garden''' ([https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H9ZeFnJCqY Part 1],[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ2wnfltnB0 Part 2]). Maddy and Tim Harland describe the planning and design of a forest garden, with reference to their own forest garden in Hampshire, UK, which is over 20 years old (brief excerpt of a visit to the same forest garden: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE9ddXM-MgQ]). They stress that the main difference between temperate climate forest gardens and those of the tropics is that there is less light available and so the trees must be more openly planted to allow light through to the lower layers. The mature spread of the plants is also an important consideration when drawing out the spacing between plants, otherwise they warn that pruning will be a constant task.