Robert Hart summarized his vision of harmonious living on Earth in the following quote,
Obviously, few of us are in a position to restore the forests.. But tens of millions of us have gardens, or access to open spaces such as industrial wastelands, where trees can be planted. and if full advantage can be taken of the potentialities that are available even in heavily built up areas, new ‘city forests’ can arise…
He identified 7 layers to a successful and productive forest garden:
- A ‘canopy’ layer consisting of the original mature fruit trees.
- A ‘low-tree’ layer of smaller nut and fruit trees on dwarfing root stocks.
- A ‘shrub layer’ of fruit bushes such as currants and berries.
- A ‘herbaceous layer’ of perennial vegetables and herbs.
- A ‘ground cover’ layer of edible plants that spread horizontally.
- A ‘rhizosphere’ or ‘underground’ dimension of plants grown for their roots and tubers.
- A vertical ‘layer’ of vines and climbers.
Any backyard or suburban plot can utilize these layers effectively to produce abundance of food the local community. To learn more about Robert Hart’s approach, you can purchase his Forest Gardening video at Amazon UK.