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A Forest Garden With 500 Edible Plants Could Lead to a Sustainable Future

National Geographic in this short film shows us an example of forest gardening of food forests from the UK. Martin Crawford’s forest garden is 25 years old, first established on a flat field in 1994, now it’s a forest full of fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, and perennial vegetables mimicking a natural ecosystems and natures patterns.

The land serves and as an education demonstration site showing what might be an answer to the future food systems.




  1. In a cold climate where you have snow from November through April, you will need to store your calories. That means mostly annual vegetables since there are few storable perennials vegetables. Permies need to re-design Mollison’s warm weather ideas. Don’t reject food forests; just adapt them to conditions.

  2. I live where you can get snow from October to May, and didn’t need to adapt much, just follow the same principle with some different plants. Squashes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, etc can be stored during the entire cold season, you just need to know which varieties. I grow so many fruits that I have to can because I don’t have enough freezer space (I have two, plus the one in the fridge). I started with 1/3 acre (1,300+ sq m) of lawn, and now have a food forest, with plenty of perennials that are edible (that most people don’t even know about) after 12 years and got started when I was 60. So I don’t agree. The only adapting I did was selecting what to plant. Followed the book.

  3. @ Carmeno – Fascinating account, I would love to know which vegetables you grew and what book you were following.

  4. I’m new to permaculture, and am mostly just observing at this point. I really love this concept and can see how it would flourish in this type of climate. I live in the arid Southwestern United States and am wondering how this concept can be utilized in desert climates.

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