news-23 may 2024 - written by:Marieke Karssen

This is the issue that most concerns the food forest world: how do we get young planting stock, often starting on poor soils, or competing with grass, healthy and large as quickly as possible in the midst of an increasingly serious climate crisis? We pose that question in two weeks in a Food Forestcast recording to three men who certainly have answers to this: Wouter van Eck, Martijn Aalbrecht and Maarten Schrama. All three are teachers in the basic module of the Food from the Forest annual training program. This special podcast will be broadcast before the summer.
Would you like your question or opinion on this to be on the broadcast? Then fill out the form below by 11-6 and we'll include the results.

The experts in the podcast on food forest startups

The early years of a food forest

Everyone, of course, wants food forest planting material to grow up as quickly as possible into a beautiful, rich food forest. The faster the better, the healthier the better, the less failure the better. Couple that with the fact that every food forest starts on a different soil, in a different wind situation, and in a different year anyway, and you actually already know that there are as many food forests as there are opinions.
Yet that is not entirely true. There are laws that always apply, but even then, how you deal with the laws will differ from speaker to speaker. That is why we approach this broad, but at the same time very concrete topic by means of propositions, to which each speaker will first respond calmly, after which Frank Gorter and Marieke Karssen will join the conversation and take as much of the listeners' opinions and questions as possible.
Want your question to be on the air? Then fill out the form below by 11-6 and we'll include the results. 

Who are our experts?

Wouter van Eck

Wouter is Holland's most famous food forest expert. Google his name and you might find 100 videos, newspaper articles, participations in television programs and you name it. He is one of the founders of Stichting Voedselbosbouw, creator of the Green deal definition for food forests and, of course, a much sought-after speaker and lecturer. Star chef Emile van der Staak v an restaurant De Nieuwe Winkel cooks with products from his food forest Ketelbroek which is now 15 years old. If you've never heard of him, listen to our podcast with him.


Martijn Aalbrecht

Martijn has been working on his food forest almost as long as Wouter, but, coming from a very different background, on very different -bad sand- soil and thus with very different experience. Martijn is if anything an even bigger plant nut as Wouter is and they regularly work together in projects for Foundation Food Forestry. Of course they share a lot of knowledge and opinion, but sometimes they really think very differently about subjects.


Maarten Schrama

Maarten is -so they say- the only one who really studied for it. He works as an ecologist at Leiden University and knows an insane amount about soils and soil life. He also, together with Jan Degenaar, has been running a food forest for years, Lekker Landgoed in Haarzuilens. The only food forest that actually publishes harvest data, but also collects a lot about ecology. It won't surprise you, but he too has his very own opinion on the statements below.
These are the propositions:

Thesis 1

Should food forests be started differently on different initial situations? So on grass differently than on field, on clay differently than on sand, in wind differently than in lee? And if so, how differently?

Thesis 2

Can you just let young planting stock grow up in the brush or grass? Are sequences/conditions/preparations required for this or not?

Thesis 3

Is it bad if planting stock has a bit of a hard time the first few years. Does that recover or have you then set that tree backwards for its entire life.

Thesis 4

Waiting three years or seven years for a harvest, it's quite a long time in all cases. Or can you also economically alleviate the first few years with a supplemental harvest? Is that problematic from an ecological standpoint or not?
Let us know what you think. If you have questions, or comments, put them at the bottom of the form. If you leave your email we will email you when the broadcast goes online.

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