Background History of Meadow Site
Ananda Permaculture began in an abandoned, 80 year old mono-cropped apple orchard at the meadow site in 2008. We worked with Permaculture teachers Tom and Renee Wade to develop a six month workshop so that the community of Ananda Village could learn more about Permaculture. From that, a small group wanted to develop the project further, and so these workshops expanded into the continuing creation of the Meadow Permaculture site. The garden has been created through mostly volunteer labor and donations for plants and supplies.
Background History of Vana Deva Site
At the same time, the Forresters developed the Vana Deva (Forest of the Devas) site among the oaks. Today, Ananda Permaculture is a total of 3 acres of diverse and mutually supporting ecosystems. Experimentation and “concept proofing” continues!
What is a Food Forest?
A Food Forest is a consciously created garden combined into a bio-diverse, forest-mimicking, multi-layered, symbiotic mix of edible and medicinal plants. By design, it maximizes the productive use of light, water, and soil nutrients (1). This project began in an 80 year old, mono-crop apple orchard and transformed it into a thriving, bio-diverse, highly productive garden.
Today, the Ananda Permaculture Food Forest is a total of 3 acres on two different sites, ranging in elevation of 2,400 to 3,000 feet.
How are we creating the Ananda Food Forest?
- Asses the two Permaculture sites for soils, aspect (slope and direction of slope), solar, micro climate, and water availability. Develop ecosystem concepts for each.
- Assess the land for water conserving potential and install appropriate systems. For this location, this required the implementation of swales, net and pan structures, and filtered pond water irrigation into the landscape.
- Build soil, primarily by amending and mulching as appropriate.
- Assess the health of and care for existing trees. Establish an appropriate mix of new trees. Install appropriate irrigation system.
- Establish a diverse understory of food, nectar, nitrogen fixing and medicinal shrubs, perennials, and herbs.
- Add in an animal and insect fertility support system. This might include bees for pollination, many flowering plants to attract beneficial insects, or goats for eating surplus or damaged produce and for manure for compost.
1. Renee Wade for Ananda Permaculture