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What are the main advantages of food forests?

How do food forests benefit our planet and people?

What are the main advantages of food forests?

Advantages of a food forest to our planet:

  • Food forests develop into largely self-supporting systems, which require far less and optimally no outside inputs. 

  • No nasty chemical fertilisers or pesticides need be used, protecting entire eco systems.

  • The permanent and evolving root structure retains water well.

  • Ground cover reduces weed competition.

  • The inclusion of greater diversity of species allows for far more variety of produce.

  • Complex root systems stop loss of topsoil from rain and flood events.

  • Undisturbed soil in established systems protects plant health through symbiotic relationships between plants and mycorrhizal fungi *

  • Help for pollinators, beneficial insects and biodiversity

  • Trees and plants lock carbon dioxide into soil.


Advantages of a food forest to people:

  • Food forests are low-cost systems, once established, providing free food for many years to come.

  • Super low maintenance once established (which typically takes around three years.)

  • Unlike annuals, the plants in a food forest rarely need replanting. Some perennials might be shorter lived. However, taking cuttings, dividing crowns and harvesting seeds could ensure that plants don’t need repurchasing.

  • Food is nutritious and non-toxic.

  • The diversity of plants provides a wide range of taste and textural experiences, providing access to lots of new and exciting foods.

  • We can experience food plants from the past which have been replaced by homogonous, less varied fruit and vegetables.

  • There can be access to more exotic foods, albeit as a result of a warming planet.

*fine filament threads of fungus living in soil which is an essential part of Earth’s ecosystems

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