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Forest gardening or the creation of food forests are a method of creating sustainable ecosystems which consists entirely of useful plants for sustaining life including trees, nuts, herbs, bushes, fungi etc. all of which provide a useful yield to humans. By substituting the standard layers of a forest and making use of companion planting (plants which benefit each other within a proximity), plants can live out their lives as they do in a forest. Sustained by the delicate yet powerful balance of natural living cycles, the multiple layers of the food forest provide for each other the same way the layers of a natural forest do.
Often an over abundance of produce leads to an ability to share beyond necessity or to turn a small profit.
Non-reliance on monoculture methods increases chances of having the proper nutrition for your local population rather then reliance on a market with varying pricing and demand for a single product.
Fewer pests, less maintenance, no chemicals.
Create wildlife habitat.
Why Grow an Edible Forest Garden?
"While each forest gardener will have unique design goals, forest gardening in general has three primary practical intentions: High yields of diverse products such as food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, 'farmaceuticals' and fun; A largely self-maintaining garden and; A healthy ecosystem." - edibleforestgardens.com
"Forest Garden plots are to be found in various research trials such as those at The Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute http://www.crmpi.org/Home.html, community farms and gardens like Montview Neighborhood farm http://www.montviewfarm.org/, 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." -wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Gardening
"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
Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way starring Geoff Lawton