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Food Forestry With Tom Kendall at PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast (Qld, Australia)

by Tom Kendall, PRI Maungaraeeda

Tom Kendall talks about the food forest he is creating at the Permaculture Research Institute Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast. He also answers the question of what Permaculture means to people and nature.

Further Reading:

Tom Kendall

Tom Kendall is a permaculture farmer with a lifelong broad acre agricultural background. He is co-founder of the PRI Sunshine Coast Inc and PRI Luganville, Vanuatu and runs PDC and Practical Life Skills training courses on his Permaculture Demonstration Site “Maungaraeeda”. He is part of the Permaculture Sustainable Consulting team and does regular personal consultations. He has extensive experience in tropical, sub tropical and dry land climates and has the ability to read large scale as well as smaller scale landscapes. With his farming background, Tom is a very hands on and practical man and is solution focused. He has extensive travel experience, integrates easily with local cultures and people and enjoys studying landscapes, buildings and the effects of climate on structures, flora and fauna.


  1. Thanks for the video Tom, it is fantastic to see food forests getting up and running. I can hear myself that you have a number of birds living about that I don’t hear or see very often!

    I have a question about your statements early in the video about not wanting grass because it is a “bacterial based process” while trees are a “fungal based system,” would you be able to link me to the source of this information? I have no doubt that there might be differences in the density of fungi vs. bacteria between grasslands and forests, but can you point me to evidence that using chicken tractors favours a transition to a fungal system?

  2. Great presentation Tom. Really clear, logical and informative. Made me feel like I was back there on the course with you. Your place is looking good too.

    1. sam, the chicken tractor is just a biological resource doing the weeding work for you. They also remove the grass seeds. then we plant as many plants so that the space is filled with your design of succession and evolution. im not sure of a reference to direct you to in regards to the fungal/bacterial balance.But i do know that a forest (trees) lives on a fallen forest through fungal activity, not grass! Also if you have an orchard(tree-grass-tree-grass-etc)you will have continual imputs of nutrients and pest/disease issues. the guild of support species that you design and implement into your system will provide these functions(and other also)

  3. Thanks for the video and the information. I also was unaware about the bacteria vs fungi issue concerning grass in (food) forests. Very good to know, and I’ll be adding this to my “to study” list.


  4. Thanks for the info and responses Tom and Geoff.

    I clearly need to do more reading and research (and perhaps get better at comprehending scientific papers ). To me that paper seemed to conclude that the higher level of fungal activity was in the grass (specifically the restored prairie). They also seemed to find that the two forest types they looked at had lower levels of fungal activity than the desert, agricultural land and prairie, except when they fertilised the fir forest.

    This seems to be the opposite of what both of you are saying, is there something I am missing? Perhaps not all “fungi” are functionally the same? Or maybe it is different in Australia?

  5. Hello Geoff, I absolutely love watching your videos which I purchased last year and wondered if any of your students would be interested in some work in Toowoomba. I am moving to town this year and the house I am moving into has no garden and I would like to plant a food forest. The area is quite small and really want to do this properly. I have searched the net and have not found any one advertising in this field. I hope you can help me.

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