Raspberry bush and strawberry ground cover

Raspberries and strawberries in the forest garden Fruit Triangle

A forest garden works with nature to grow edible crops, which is why it’s good for combatting Climate Emergency and Mass Extinction. Here are 11 reasons why.

The Climate Emergency and Mass Extinction is caused by living in an unsustainable way. Forest gardens by definition are a sustainable and sustaining form of gardening.

  1. They are self-sustaining because, once established, they don’t require any extra inputs. This means fewer demands on the world’s resources.
  2. A forest garden is a balanced ecosystem, providing its own pest control and fertility.
  3. A diversity of species, for the health of garden and also for a more interesting diet. You don’t want to eat the same thing over and again!
  4. Provides habitat for wildlife. Cut ’n’ drop mulching, windbreak hedges, permanent ground cover, composting in place, leaving brash on the ground or in dead hedges; all of these provide habitat.
  5. Permanent living ground cover, in the form of ground cover plants, means soil is undisturbed and soil life can get established. This includes mycorrhizal fungi network, which helps move nutrients between plants.
  6. Trees and soil life capture carbon. A mature tree captures around 20kg a year and there are about 20 full sized trees and a hundred or so smaller trees and shrubs in our forest garden.
  7. Because of the interconnected plants, a forest garden absorbs and retains more water, which means less run-off, which helps prevent flooding.
  8. By design, they are low-maintenance, so people are more likely to stick with gardening, ideally meaning more forest gardens, meaning more sustatinable environments.
  9. If people are in the forest garden growing their own produce, it means they consume less from elsewhere.
  10. Involvement in any garden, particularly a forest or wildlife garden, increases an awareness of the essential nature of nature. We are part of nature, by definition we can’t live without it.
  11. A forest garden is a resilient garden, providing shelter from extremes of wind and sun, providing a harvest from one source if another harvest fails.