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Friday, January 26, 2018

Food Forest Plants  very well suited to the south west of WA Boyup Brook to Rosa Brook

This feels like my life's work. Thirty plus years of  revegetating cleared properties in WA has taught us what lives and what fails. Here I present a handy guide for permaculture designers .

*= N fixer     # =animal fodder    $ =drought tolerant once established M = highly medicinal   EVERGREENs
Pioneers  …… fast growing short lived soil improver/nitrogen fixer, nurse tree providing shade quickly.
Albizias, Acacias*# ( recommended include  A. Saligna, Cyclops, Acuminata, Aneura( mulga)
Tagasaste*#, Ice cream bean tree Inga Edulis #, Alders*# ( not a legume but fix nitrogen )
Tall Canopy trees :

, White Sapote, Palms ( I like Jelly and Chilean minature coconut palm), Oak, Honey Locust, Bunya Pine, Stone Pine, Pinyon pine, grafted Avocado,
 Pecan, Pawlonia *#, Ginko Biloba, Poplar in wetter places , Eucalypts ( good structural timber species are spotted gum, Yellow stringy bark, Ironbark, Rose Gum, Sugar Gum, Jarrah and Wandoo),  Large Bamboos # $ : Good ones for timber and edible shoots round here include Bambusa  Olhameii, B. Textilis, B. Tuldoides, B Malingensis and  Dendrocalamaus latiforus, D.Membraneous, D.Strictus bamboos together, oaks together as they prefer there own company and are alleopathic. Oaks in the fire sector for fire protection, bamboos away from fire sector.

Smaller trees : Elderberry M, Casurinas #*$ , MACADAMIA, Almond$, Apricot$, $ Pistachio, Olive $, Pomegranate$, Desert Ash # $, Fig $#, Chinese date $ Mulberry,  the water loving group: Osier basket willow #, Perssimon , Pear, citrus and  Japanese Raison# and Walnut M;
  Chestnut, Loquat; carob *#$;  Capulin cherry M, & high wood value & its fruit decoys birds, stone fruit, apples , Quince, Medlar, Frankinsence and Myrrh M.
Shrubs and hedgerow plants:  Summer vigorous Jerusalem artichoke, Banna grass$#, sugar cane #, sorghum$#, Winter vigorous globe artichoke Coprosma #$, Ugni, Feijoa & common guava  ( can get to 3m  high), cherry guava, Ugni, Sea Buckthorn M (very high in Vit C ) Old man Salt Bush # $ , Hawthorn M; scented geraniums; lavender; wormwood, Mugwort & southernwood M; Drought tolerant group which provides fibre for cordage, sugar sap etc : New Zealand Flax, Red Hot Poker ( nectar for birds and bees). The prickly brigade of cattle proof fencing  plants include  some bamboos, Agaves, Aloes M, Opuntia ( prickly pear)#$; Euphorbia tetragoni,  prickly rosa rugosa ( M: rose hips)

Riparian species for wet areas include Mulberry and bamboo to shade and reduce evaporation from ponds, (mulberry can feed fish and ducks with silkworm larvae & fruit );  the fast growing coppicing trees poplars and willows  weeping, Chilean ( tall but can look straggly )and Osier …all animal fodder # ; blueberry, thornless Boysen berry, youngberry , raspberry, Valerian, Self heal, comfrey#$, mints such as Vietnamese, peppermint, spearmint; Gotu Cola and Brahmi herb M ( memory/brain );
Aquatic plants of great value and prolific growth include: Chinese water chestnut , water spinach or Kang Kong, Taro  and Lebanese Cress; Mulch plant /water fern Azolla *
Herb layer  includes Alfalfa and comfrey and yarrow  M #*, culinary herbs shallots, garlic , majoram, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, fennel, Fenugreek *, lemon grass, mints, rhubarb ( heavy feeder) all  M; tansy, Echinacea, Wood Sage, Clary Sage, M,  Day Lily, asparagus  $; Hyssop, borage, Angelica, liquorice, German Chamomile, chicory, dandelion, calendula, St Johns Wort, poppie,  foxglove,  ( digitalis, beware, can be poisonous) . These are all M for medicinal but a herbalist should be consulted. There are any more medicinal and culinary herbs .
Tubers    Very useful ones include garlic, sweet potatoe, Horse Radish, Irish potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke .  Vines   Hardenbergia *,  Deciduous Kiwifruit and grapes, choko, lab lab  *& scarlett runner bean * which are winter dormant , evergreen passionfruit , banana passionfruit , Wisteria * Jasmine, honey suckle #$
Ground Covers Weed suppressants include N fixers Running Postman, Kennedia, vigorous Lab Lab bean, nastursium, sweet potatoe, pigface $ ( edible fruit ) Lippia, Wandering Jew ( nutritious vegetable if it is the blue flowered one) Red (M) and  Arrowleaf  Clovers, delicate but sweet scented lawn chamomile, everybody’s favorite STRAWBERRY, wild strawberry too.  Don’t forget sedums and succulents which are C4 plants which sequester carbon well,  plus the delightful spring flowering bulbs like daffodil, Dutch Iris, Snowdrop, crocus and tulip.  
Annuals particularly good chook /pig human food : winter crops : broad beans* peas*, chickpeas, flax, oats, wheat , barley, rye, vetches and trefoils. Summer: corn, sunflower, amaranthus, millet, buckwheat, pumpkin, quinoa, flax again, alfalfa, comfrey , stinging nettle, sea vegetables like kelp.

Perennial pasture species for cell grazing between swales Chicory, tall wheat grass, Fescue, cocksfoot, phalaris, Panic ,Timothy and  Rhodes grasses, Margarita and Sanarini French Serrdella*, Siverado Lucerne*, Arrowleaf clover*, self seeding annual purple vetch. All the above are growing in our acidic non wetting sands .They need appropriate innoculum of N fixing bacteria initially, available from seed merchants.

Flame retardants ...these wont burn even in the face of sustained flame: Salt bush, sheoak, coprosma, oak, robinia, numerous succulent plants , agapanthus, most wattles. Test for others by holding leaves in flames .

We are a Botanical and Fauna Ark keeping all of the above plant species and our collection of vital nutritional and medicinal plants and native plants  is growing  every year. We have seeds for sale of many of them and are making tons of compost,  for propagating by vegetative means, the rest.   If you are interested in working with us in the nursery please contact us via face book , email   or phone after dark & lunch time on (08) 97561408. We’re at the Margaret River Farmers market most Saturday mornings. Merri Bee Organic Farmacy can be seen on Google Earth .We are also looking for team members available to take part in Eco Restoration Camps. This urgent  work involves planting,  mulching and seeding  to create food forests on degraded sites throughout the south west. Many hands make light work and lots of fun, so please contact us if you think you can help. 
These plant-a-thons are usually on  weekends!

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