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Forest gardens

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Definition and Terminology
==Definition and Terminology==
Several closely related terms exist for this technique, such as '''forest gardening''', '''(edible) food forests''', '''woodland gardening''', '''woodland edge gardening''', '''forest farming'''. They all refer to broadly the same thing, although some argue that certain terms are more accurate. This article uses the term forest gardening as this seems to be the most frequently used term. An exact definition of the technique in precise language might be:
|content="An anthropogenic multistrata polyculture mimicking the layers of natural mid-succession stage woodland ecosystems and supporting biodiversity and resilience. Such systems are almost always operated on general organic farming principles, and tend to be subsistence level farming rather than being economically viable in terms of selling a yield. The system is largely self fertilizing and produces many yields at different times of year, mainly edible crops but also timber and other non timber forest products such as medicinal plants, soaps, etc."
''Forest or Woodland?''
Some argue that it is more accurate to use the term woodland rather than forest, since the latter usually implies a high density of trees with mature and closed canopy layer giving continuous shade and very limited light for other plants. Woodland usually refers to lower density of trees with understorey of shrubs etc. with lots of sunlight and limited shade.<ref name=pfafwoodland>Plants For A Future (2013). [ Woodland gardening : designing a low-maintenance, sustainable edible woodland garden with fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables.] ISBN 9781484069165.</ref> Furthermore, forest usually implies a large area,<ref name=crawford2016>Crawford, M (2016). [ Creating a Forest Garden: working with nature to grow edible crops.] Green Books. ISBN 9781900322621.</ref> whereas most forest gardens are very small in comparison with the scales of commercial forestry and industrial agricultural. In theory, forest gardens could be any size.
''Woodland Edge Garden''
The edge of a forest has more diversity of species due to more availability of light. Consequently, the edge of the forest can be the most productive area and more food can be grown. This term refers to forest gardening idea on a very small scale, as small as a 1 m or 1.5 m wide bed along the northern side of a garden. Generally this type of garden has no full size trees, and the low tree layer acts as the canopy. Because it is a narrow strip, plenty of light is available from the side.<ref name=pfafwoodland />
''Edible Food Forest''
Another very commonly used term is "food forest" or sometimes "edible food forest". While the main purpose of the forest garden is food production, there tend to be secondary uses and yields, such as medicinal plants, dyes, poles/canes, basketry materials, soaps, firewood and timber.<ref name=crawford2016 /> Therefore it could be argues that the more general term forest gardening is more approapriate.
<!-->''Forest Farming''
This is closely related to the idea of Forest Gardening. However forest farming tends to use only 2 or more species
==Example Forest Gardens==
"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."[]

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