500 days In A Food Forest To Now Include 1100 days!

It can be hard finding the time to spend time in a food forest, let alone three years! With that in mind, over the past three years, I’ve taken a series of 700 photos of the food forest here and produced a short video so that you can experience what I see on a daily basis. The farm is in a temperate climate in the mountains of the south eastern corner of Australia (to the north of Melbourne) and I have two food forests growing here. One is a more shady food forest which contains the apples, pears, citrus and nut trees and that is the food forest shown in the video. The other food forest contains the apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines and almonds and that is in a more sunny location.

The farm is at a reasonable altitude and the seasons can be very variable – as you’ll notice in the video (there is even the occasional heavy snowfall). The herbage underneath the fruit trees does contain grasses, but also many, many other plant species and you will notice that even during the extreme record breaking heat and dry of earlier this year (January and February) that the herbage still contains many patches of green which is almost unheard of around these parts. The animal systems in the food forests, other than the chickens of course, comprises all of the native wildlife, many of which call this farm their home. Every year the wildlife gets more diverse with the number and diversity of species and it is a real pleasure to be able to share this farm with them all.

Editors Note: When we said to Chris – I saw you had a wombat there 3/4 of the way through, great work by the way. Did you bring the wildlife back or were they always pottering around your property?

Chris replied with;

What a great question about the wildlife here. The wildlife here forms the animal systems on the farm (although there are also chickens! and bees) and what I’ve noticed is that “feed and water them and they shall come” applies and every year the farm is a little bit more complex and diverse in relation to the various bird, plant and animal species. I spotted a new bird species yesterday which I’d never seen before: Eastern Rosella. We usually get the Crimson Rosella’s, but not this one… Years ago when the soil was a hard clay pan, you’d be lucky to spot any birds and animals here at all.

Hope you all enjoy the video.

The orginial 500 days video can be seen here;

About Chris

Chris lives on an organic farm which is not connected to the electricity grid, at an elevation of about 700m (2,300ft) above sea level in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria, Australia. There are about 300 fruit trees (honestly, I lost count after 300), heritage chickens, berries, vegetables, flowers and herbs all on 22 acres of cool temperate tall eucalyptus forest.

You can connect with Chris,

On his websites: and podcasts on

On Youtube:


  1. I thank you for the Awesome an Beneficial info your Site so freely shares….Folks like yourself an your (ORG..) reveal to myself an other interested followers How to co/operate or Harness the sources of Nature ! AN , as We or SOME of Us have Learned …We can set a example for others !

  2. Dear Chris,
    please add some mushroom food for your trees. Grass is not the best idea. There are many permaculture ideas what to plant and to put under trees.


  3. so amazing. U have done great thing. This is what a person should be. Keeping the balance in environment. Keep up the good work Chris. and permaculture, thanks for this inspiring story. I myself have 4 hectares garden in 1100 m above the sea level.

  4. Beautiful! I tried to see the trees growing, but the viewpoint changed, thus it was not so clear to see.

  5. Great footage of how the environment changes throughout the season, nice to see that water tank disappear from good shrub planning and planting, keep on keeping on!


  6. I was hoping to see layering and understory plantings in this food forest. While there may be some diversity in the grass sections between trees, what was there appeared to be mowed conventionally and compost applied under the trees on an annual basis. Eventually, this will result in a grouping of larger fruit trees, but I don’t see how a real ecosystem is being formed if an understory with layers isn’t being incorporated. This looks very close to what we see in a traditional orchard. Perhaps there are good reasons why you haven’t done this. If so, I would enjoy learning why.

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