Centre for Alternative Technology

Forest Garden Update

Update 2014


It is now nearly five years since the main plantings of the forest garden, so, although the garden is nowhere near mature, it is established enough to make some assessments of the technique.

It is, I'm pleased to say, performing more or less as planned. Maintenance takes a few hours per month, and it is pleasant, light work, mainly weeding, cutting back and tying in. The largest crop is still the Bramley apples, followed by Jerusalem artichokes.


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Update 2011

The Forest Garden – towards fruition


I have, in the past, been a little negative about forest gardening. My first attempt had resulted in some bad experiences where the promise of an easy bounty didn't materialise. For years afterwards I concentrated on more proven forms of gardening, and the annual veg and orchard fruit were rewarding. But the allure of forest gardening is still strong. Fifteen years on, I am trying again - but with a tinge of scepticism.

This time I hope I've learnt from my past mistakes. I've chosen plants which I know taste nice (from experience, rather than catalogue descriptions), I've cleared ALL the weeds before planting and I've been very careful not to plant too close together.


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Update 2010


Planting is progressing in the forest garden – a garden of edible plants with the structure of a woodland. It's a special thing for me, having, for 20 years been both a forest garden enthusiast and cynic (usually in that order, but sometimes reversed). See Clean Slate, spring 2009.


The garden is only little – 6 metres by 14 metres, which is small enough for close care and attention, but big enough to provide lots of fruit, herbs and salad for many years to come.


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