We have partnered with some incredible companies & organisations to help plant over 20,000 trees across Australia, India, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon and Senegal.
What is a Forest Garden??
-You may know Forest Gardens by other names, such as polyculture, permaculture, agroforestry, or something else – and these are all related and good descriptions of what we aim for – a multi-layered, multi purpose distribution of vegetables, bushes, and lots of trees – designed to optimize productivity of a piece of land. It is a farming system that thinks vertically, not just horizontally.
Forest gardens stand in stark contrast to modern industrial agriculture which encourages farmers to plant one or few crops. Time and time again, we find monocultures to be chemical-intensive, environmentally-destructive, and deadly to biodiversity and long-term human prosperity.
Forest Garden Programs are being implemented in Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania, as these are areas where we are having the biggest impact and seeing amazing results.
There are a variety fast-growing trees, thorny trees, fruit trees and hardwoods to create a Forest Garden.
Forest Garden farmers plant thorny trees, such as Acacia species, in living fences to protect their fields. The plant fast-growing, multipurpose trees to produce fertilizer, animal fodder and fuelwood. The most popular fast-growing trees include: Acacia, Sesbania, Calliandra, Albizia, Leucaena and Cassia species. They plant fruit trees for food to eat and sell. Mangoes, citrus, cashew, avocado, and jujube are particularly common. For longer term investment, farmers often want to plant hardwoods such as mahogany, gmelina, and grevillea.
The farmers we work with learn to grow a variety of fast-growing trees, fruit trees, hardwoods and vegetables. We use the fast-growing trees to secure and stabilize degraded lands. Then we help the farmer diversify his field with fruit trees and hardwoods. Farmers intercrop vegetables and field crops among the trees.
There are many ways that trees are beneficial to both people and the environment: Trees are habitat for biodiversity; Trees create much of the planet’s oxygen; and, Trees help combat climate change – the list is nearly limitless, but we focus on the role trees play in agroforestry and in helping farming families improve their land quality and productivity.
Agroforestry integrates trees into agriculture and landscapes, a model that is particularly appropriate for resource poor farmers in developing countries. In addition to providing fruits, berries, and nuts, trees provide environmental services that are essential for families in the developing world: they can improve the fertility of degraded soils (through nitrogen fixation), prevent wind and soil erosion (thereby also contributing to improved fertility), increase water penetration into underground aquifers, and contribute to improvements in the growing environment. Trees help to lessen the wind that might affect crops, cool off ground temperatures, and trap moisture and nutrients in the soil so that food crops grow better in the improved microclimate.
Trees also provide fodder for animals, create living fences, and can be a source of sustainable fuelwood production. (Yes – some of these trees are cut for fuelwood, but these are trees that coppice well – meaning they will grow back year after year when they are properly cared for.)
Thank you for seeing the Forest for the Trees!