This 500-Plant Edible Garden Mostly Cares for Itself...

* When an area is left to its own devices, it will naturally turn into a forest over time, replete with a wide variety of plant species, and this diversification occurs unaided by man
* You can mimic this kind of naturally occurring ecosystem by planting a “forest garden” where fruit and nut trees grow intermingled with shrubs, herbs, vines and a variety of perennial vegetables in a seemingly wild-grown setting
* U.K.-based Martin Crawford is a pioneer of forest gardening. Despite growing 500 different edible plants and trees, his garden only requires a few hours of maintenance per month, as the wide variety of plants and trees all work symbiotically to eliminate pest problems and support optimal growth
* “System plants” help the system as a whole thrive. These include nitrogen-fixing plants, mineral accumulators and plants that attract pollinators and predator insects
* Aside from being low-maintenance, plant and tree diversification protects crops from being decimated by inclement weather. While some may fail, others may benefit, but in many cases, a majority of your crops will thrive regardless of weather conditions
The A Forest Garden With 500 Edible Plants Could Lead to a Sustainable Future (3 minutes)