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Stories from the farm – a closer look at the people, the place and the bio-diversity at 5EyesFarm

5EyesOrganic – Creating a Forest Garden – bring on the biodiversity.

A forest garden is a layered garden that consists of food-producing plants. So the layers of a forest garden include tall and medium trees, support trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, root crops and herbaceous plants. These are all interspersed and depend on each other. They also mutually benefit one another. Another name for a forest garden is a food forest as it is highly productive. The diversity of the plants creates biodiversity, natural compost and mulches, fungi and microorganisms. In conclusion, this looks like a traditional food forest that is simply emulating nature. The natural organic context helps the forest garden find its way and become the strongest it can be with only minor inputs and maintenance.

 

Stages of the farm

1. RESTORATION.

Firstly, restitution of the land. This has been the first stage. Reclaiming the soil and infrastructure for organic life. The rejuvenation is well underway and the farm is much improved.

2. INTEGRATION.

Secondly, integrating everything. Developing methods and systems that help each other and work together to improve diversity, rotation, healthy production. Establishing the aquaponics alongside the soil farm creates scope for this as does the animal farm and insectarium.

3. FOREST GARDEN.

Finally creating forest gardens. While permaculture, natural farming and integrated farming are models we draw from, we see these culminating in a forest garden. Based around fruit trees, the forest garden has abundant variety is partly shade spreading out to sun and creates the strongest biodiversity.
We are underway with this and if it works it will be our model for social development amongst farmers locally and beyond.