Forest Garden is an agronomic system where trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals and climbers all form part of a carefully designed and interconnected arrangement for growing food and other useful plant products. Forest Gardening is an intensive form of agro-forestry, mixed in such a way as to mimic the structure of a natural forest - the most stable and sustainable type of ecosystem in this climate.
The primary aims of the system are –
To be biologically sustainable, i.e. help to cope with disturbances such as climate change
To be productive, i.e. yield a large number of different products
The crops produced in the forest garden will often include fruits, nuts, edible leaves, spices, medicinal plant products,etc.
A forest garden is designed and maintained specifically, not using the normal tenets of gardening, but taking its vision from nature and very much based on a natural ecology of a young forest. It is a food production system based on replicating woodland ecosystems to grow trees, bushes, shrubs, herbs and vegetables that are directly useful to people. The different crops grow on multiple levels in the same area to gain maximum productivity from the available space. Whilst this is a common small scale food production approach in the tropics, models for temperate climates have more recently become popular.