The theme of volume production in a food forest is relatively close to common management in the forestry industry. It therefore offers a springboard to ecologically diversify existing forests, and natural areas, and make them more functional. The demand for wood will almost certainly rise in the coming climate-conscious era. Thus, quality wood can become a valuable part of the “mixed forestry industry” which food forestry motivates: that of food and wood production from a forest. In order for the volume-producing area to succeed, it is necessary to strengthen or restore the system ecologically, and to be consistent in the long term, especially with regards to soil.
Those who opt for volume production as their main theme will want to design their food forest for management, harvesting, processing and transport, to be carried out efficiently in the future. Within this theme, the emphasis will be on the production of volumes of food with market value. Quality wood production also has its place in the volume-producing are of the food forest. Food forestry will therefore introduce the innovation of ‘dual-purpose trees’, which in the course of their lives produce both food and wood. Their production offers a broad spectrum of unprecedented management options, with more and new decision possibilities. Increased decision possibilities will guide the volume-producing area’s development over space and time, and their changing relationship to various markets for labor, food, and timber.
Within this theme, it is essential that chosen species and varieties are planted in the right places, for optimal growth, flowering and production. For example, the position relative to the sun and wind, and their position with regards to each other. For this, knowledge and understanding of the ecology of plant species is indispensable, as is an ability to design a food forest with multiple variables. The choice of appropriate planting material is also a distinguishing factor for success. This requires the examination of available supply at nurseries in the area. In addition, the exploration and development of marketing channels requires specific attention; this involves flexible and creative entrepreneurship. In the development of the marketing plan, you can deliberately seek breadth of production, but you can also specialize in a limited range of products. In the latter case, it is crucial for the robustness of the ecosystem to always ensure sufficient biodiversity.
We have simplified the data and information for the Welna estate, and added an economic cautionary measure by skimming off 25% of the costs and benefits for the two themes where a lot of harvesting takes place.
We then built a tool with which you, in your own environment, can make a nice customised business report that can serve as a conversation-starter for your supporters, family, investors, etc.
Keep in mind that this is just the beginning, and the plant list consists of plants that do well on the Welna estate’s sandy soil. We also base our models on assumptions, but every year there will be more real data from food forests and from all of you as participants calculating with us. So, help us make this matter more and more beautiful, together. Have fun!