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Eric

Toensmeier www.perennialsolutions.org
145 Brown Ave Holyoke MA 01040 (413) 695-6115 toensmeier@gmail.com

Recommendations for Earth Learning Food Forest

Overall The design features a fantastic array of fruit trees. The addition of nitrogen-fixing species in the understory, especially in the establishment period, can provide sufficient nitrogen for fertility needs. Addition of perennial vegetables, spices, and other useful crops fleshes out the diet provided. In particular, species are recommended for the shady understory. An intensively-managed understory might include a wide range of perennial vegetables and coppiced nitrogen-fixing shrubs, with a sweet potato groundcover. Less intensive areas might comprise the aggressive nitrogen-fixing forage peanut with robust perennial vegetables like katuk, belembe and bago. Native daisy and umbel family wildflowers could also be affordably sown from seed in the understory to provide nectary for pest- controlling insects. Food forest with fruit and nut trees, taro, and groundcover. Nitrogen Fixing Species To fix sufficient nitrogen, 25-40% of plants in full sun or 50-80% of plants in shade should be nitrogen fixers. This is a fairly high number. In the Earth Learning food forest this can be met by several strategies: 1) Use a high number of nitrogen fixers in the early succession years while waiting for fruit trees to establish. This could include crop legumes like pigeon pea, annual crops like cowpea, and cover crops like velvet beans and sun hemp. 2) Remove some fruit trees and replace with nitrogen fixing species, including food-producing species like guaje, chipilin, and ice cream bean.

3) Non-edible nitrogen fixing trees can be made more productive by serving as living trellises for productive vines like passionfruit, chayote, and others. Conversely, once established, other productive trees can serve as trellises to perennial legume vines like lima beans. 4) Dedication of a large percentage of the understory to shade-tolerant nitrogen fixers like forage peanut can provide fertility and groundcover without sacrificing fruit production. Flemingia and calliandra both tolerate partial shade. Groundnut is a native nitrogen fixing tuber crop for partial shade. 5) Many nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs coppice well and are tolerant of partial shade. Annually coppiced and use for mulch, species like Coppiced Flemingia Flemingia, Gliricidia, Calliandra and Leucaena can provide a major contribution. 6) Consider including native nitrogen-fixing trees for their potential habitat benefits. NITROGEN FIXING SPECIES Common Name Form Florida Native Small trees Acacias

Latin Name Acacia choriophylla, A. farnesiana, A, macrantha, A tortuosa Apios americana Arachis pintoi

Uses Native, habitat

Groundnut Forage peanut

Perennial vine Herb

Tubers, native, shade tolerant. Shade-loving perennial groundcover, can be aggressive

Cajanus cajan Calliandra calothrysus Crotolaria juncea Crotolaria longirostrata Enterolobium cyclocarpum Erythrina herbacea Flemingia macrophylla Gliricidia sepium Inga vera

Pigean Pea, Gandul Shrub Calliandra Shrub Sunn Hemp Chipilin Guanacaste Coral bean Flemingia Made de Cacao Ice Cream Bean Annual Shrub Tree Subshrub Shrub Tree Tree Tree Small tree Small tree Annual

Dry bean crop Coppices well Cover crop Edible leaves (cooked) Pods for fodder Native, habitat, toxic Coppices well Edible flowers, coppices well. Edible fruit. May freeze back in cold winters. Edible beans (when green only) Coppices well Native, habitat Cover crop climbs and smothers trees Edible beans Dry bean, cover crop

Leucaena esculenta Guaje Leucaena leucocephala Lysiloma latisiliqum Mucuna pruriens Phaseolus lunatus Vigna unguiculata Leucaena Velvet Bean

Lima Bean 7 Year Perennial vine Cowpea Annual

Perennial Vegetable Crops The Miami climate is idea for many of the worlds best perennial vegetables. Interspersing these crops provides a more balanced diet. 1) Vegetable trees include edible-shoot bamboos, moringa (managed as a tree for pod production), and bago. 2) Vegetable shrubs can productively occupy clearings and include coppiced woody plants like moringa, edible hibiscus, katuk, and chaya. Chipilin and nopale cactus are also in this category. Note that katuk prefers shade and is thus ideal for growing under nut and fruit trees. 3) Vines can be grown on established nitrogen fixing or fruit trees, trellises, or along windbreaks or fences. Vegetable vines include lima beans, chayote, and ivy gourd. 4) Herbaceous perennial vegetables are a great understory component. They may not compete well with forage peanut, and thus should perhaps have their own smaller, more intensively managed area of the garden. All of the

following will produce in partial shade: arrowroot, giant taro, taro, edible canna, sweet potato, belembe, Welsh onion, garlic chives. PERENNIAL VEGETABLE SPECIES Common Name Form Edible hibiscus Shrub Welsh onion Garlic chives Giant taro Clumping Bamboo Edible canna, achira Chaya Ivy gourd, tindora Herb Herb Giant herb Bamboo Herb Shrub Perennial vine Herb Shrub Bamboo Tree Herb Tree or coppiced shrub Shrub Uses Leaves Scallions Leaves, flowerbuds Starchy stem Shoots, poles Tubers, shoots Leaves cooked only, toxic raw Leaves, mini- cucumbers Leaves (some clones), tubers Edible leaves (cooked) Shoots, poles Edible leaves and nuts, shade loving. Tubers Leaves, pods Pads Edible beans Leaves Fruit, leaves, tubers Leaves

Latin Name Abelmoschus moschatus Allium fistulosum Allium tuberosum Alocasia macrorhiza Bambusa textilis Canna edulis Cnidoscolus chayamansa Coccinia grandis

Colocasia esculenta Taro Crotolaria longirostrata Dendrocalamus asper Gnetum gnemon Maranta arundinacea Moringa oleifera Opuntia ficus- indica Phaseolus lunatus Sauropus androgynous Sechium edule Xanthosoma brasiliense Chipilin Clumping Bamboo Bago Arrowroot Moringa Nopale Cactus

Lima Bean 7 Year Perennial vine Katuk Shrub Chayote Belembe, taioba Perennial vine Herb

Full-sized pod moringa, coppiced moringa and chaya, sweet potato and Malabar spinach.

OTHER IMPORTANT SPECIES 1) Nut trees like macadamia and coconut can add additional fat and protein. 2) The Seminole pumpkin was an important food crop historically and still persists as a self-seeding annual in the Everglades. It is a great low- maintenance food crop. 3) Many spices can be grown in food forests. Of those, shade-tolerant species include ginger, galangal, coppiced cinnamon, turmeric, lemon grass, black pepper, and curry leaf. 4) Native species in the daisy (Asteraceae) and umbel (Apiaceae) families can provide important nectar for pest-controlling beneficial insects. Selecting from the native members of these families can provide beauty and improved crop yields. OTHER SPECIES Latin Name Common Name Form Uses Alpinia galangal Galangal Herb Root spice Cinnamomum Cinnamon Coppiced tree Bark spice zeylandicum Cocos nucifera Coconut Palm Nuts, oil, milk Cucurbita Seminole Annual vine Fruit, shoot tips, moschata pumpkin seeds Curcuma domestica Turmeric Herb Root spice Cymbopogon Lemon grass Herb Leaf spice citratus Macadamia Macadamia Tree Nuts integrifolia

Murraya koenigii Curry leaf Tree Leaf spice Piper nigrum Black pepper Perennial vine Fruit spice Zingiber officinale Ginger Herb Root spice, shoots SEED AND PLANT SOURCES ECHO nursery and seed company www.echonet.org. Contact Larry Yarger at 239 567-3322 if you continue having trouble getting service. They stock many of the species mentioned here. Edible Plant Project http://edibleplantproject.org/. Many useful species including Seminole pumpkin. Oikos Tree Crops www.oikostreecrops.com. Offer improved giant native groundnuts. Taro and Ti. www.taroandti.com Specialize in edible-leaf taro types, based in South Florida. Wolf Seeds http://www.wolfseeds.com/ tropical legume seeds in bulk. Florida Native Plan and Seed Suppliers: www.alexfarm.com, www.plantiful.com/actiontheory, www.biospherenursery.com, http://www.floridawildflowers.com