Greens and Stacking Functions in Food Forests

Just a short little blog post this week as we’re gearing up for the Living the New Economy Conference here in Victoria, BC this weekend. I’m excited to be on a panel with some other local permaculture specialists as well as Ethan Roland from Apple Seed Permaculture. It will be a chance to nerd out with other permie enthusiasts, and talk about how to incorporate permaculture principles to economic structures! I’m sure there will be lots to share in the coming weeks :)

I did however, want to spend a little time chatting about greens this week. Yes, greens! Annuals I know, but so incredibly nutrient dense and valuable within the food forest system. This summer I planted a greens patch under a pear tree within the garden.


(this is the most delicious pear, with a black currant growing next to it, it had some unused space beneath it ready for greens production)

The space under existing fruit trees is a wonderful spot for greens (kale, mustards, arugula, corn salad, parsley, etc) as they are protected in the summer from the direct sun, and in the winter after the leaves have fallen, the greens receive more light (removing some of the fallen leaves helps to open them up to more light and saves them from being composted in place).


This patch has been producing since early August, and we harvest handfuls almost every day.


(this was today’s handful, greens and herbs added to home made chicken soup)

With just a little plot of land it’s possible to have a green’s patch that will provide nutritious food, year round! It’s also a great way to stack functions within a polyculture orchard/ food forest. When the heavy rains come and the cold sets in, it helps to put a little protection over the patch (such as a small cloche system) to ensure that you will continue to have greens even in the most stormy of winter days.


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