Permaculture teacher and author, Eric Toensmeier, leads us around the abundant edible heaven that is the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI) run by Jerome Osentowski.
Set on a steep, rocky hillside in Colorado at 7,200 feet, CRMPI grows a wide range of edibles in an outdoor food forest, alongside five unheated greenhouses that incorporate annual temperate plants, mediterranean and tropical plants.
Jerome has designed the forest garden using the seven layers: vertical climbers, roots, rhizosphere, ground cover, herbacious layer, small trees, and high tree canopy. This layering maximises space enabling year round food.
Jerome uses mostly self-sowing annuals as the ground layer to give maximum crops with minimum work, and has a multitude of fruit trees in the high canopy for plentiful harvests.
The 20-year-old food forest includes, lovage, hollyhocks, horseradish, giant lamb's quarter, sandcherry, comfrey, hops, pears, chokecherry, apricot, mulberry and gooseberries.
A great example of how permaculture design can create abundant, easy to manage systems in any climate, soil or landscape.
For more information about CRMPI visit http://crmpi.org/
The Forest Garden Greenhouse by Jerome Osentowski
How to Make a Forest Garden by Patrick Whitefield, for a special price of £12.70
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