The weekend started Sweden's first 72-hour course on forest gardens here in Stjärnsund with 20 enthusiastic participants. This meeting, we reviewed the ecosystem dynamics and strategies that are useful in the creation of a working forest garden. We also talked about the design process in forest garden.
This time we had with us Bosse Blomqvist from Gothenburg who is one of the pioneers in the forest garden Sweden. Bosse told me about his amazing forest garden outside Alingsås, his life as a plant collector and led a short ympningskurs.
Participants were scions of six different varieties of apple that we think are among the most interesting in terms of taste, winter hardiness or storage capacity: Aroma (winter apple), Filippa (winter apple), Farmors juläpple (winter apple), Gyllene Kitajka (summer apple), Louhisaari pineapple (summer apple) and Pineapple Cinnamon (autumn apple). Participants could choose between rootstock A2, which is relatively strong growing and produces a large tree and B9, which is a weak growing root stock that provides a low, hardy tree, but that need plant support throughout his brief, at best 30 year life. Both rootstocks and ympriset we bought by Ebe Plant in Watertown (http://www.ebeplant.se/). More on grafting can read on this page: http://www.ympning.se/.
It is not just the right season for grafting, but also for building pruning of young trees. The goal of building the Origin is to create a healthy, well-shaped tree that can withstand all kinds of stress and provide a rich harvest of fruit. By the early origin can determine the crown height and prevent damage that can be caused by poor branch angles. An important rule is to rather make small, regular engagement than to prune much at once.
The idea of this course is to provide participants with the opportunity to follow a completely skogsträdgårdsår to learn both the theory of woodland gardens and the practical techniques needed to create their own forest garden. Main subject at the next meeting in May will be the earth, and we will take soil samples, ground preparation and learn different planting techniques. Are you interested in being involved in next year's forest garden course you can subscribe to Permaculture Stjärnsunds newsletter where we will be sending out information about upcoming courses.