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A Forest Garden With 500 Edible Plants Could Lead to a Sustainable Future | Short Film Showcase ctm magazine

Instead of neat rows of monoculture, forest gardens combine fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables together in one seemingly wild setting. This type of agroforestry mimics natural ecosystems and uses the space available in a sustainable way. UK-based Martin Crawford is one of the pioneers of forest gardening. Starting out with a flat field in 1994, his land has been transformed into a woodland and serves as an educational resource for others interested in forest gardening. This short film by Thomas Regnault focuses on Crawford’s forest garden, which is abundant, diverse, edible, and might be one answer to the future of food systems.
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The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic’s belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

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A Forest Garden With 500 Edible Plants Could Lead to a Sustainable Future | Short Film Showcase

National Geographic



  • National Geographic on February 19, 2019

    This garden grows 500 edible plants with just a few hours of maintenance a month. What are your thoughts on this unique ecosystem?

  • Oliver on October 9, 2020

    does anyone have suggestions of books to read about this?

  • 김줄스 ZoolsKim on October 10, 2020

    inspiring video , thanks youtube

  • M4 Panda07 on November 9, 2020

    Op bro

  • NatNeoPit on November 17, 2020

    The question is if the little amount of light which can go through these shady agricultural forests is enough to raise some foodstuff needed for human consumption. I suppose it is enough but it takes much more time for fruits to mature. Anyway, it seems that traditional culture is excellent in most areas (but sometimes wrong) although I think that monoculture is not as good invention as we used to think, it's sometimes even a little ugly for the landscape. We must try to rethink agriculture and gardening…there are other ways to make them more sustainable and also more beautiful, adapting them to the needs and problems of these times that we live nowadays. It would be interesting that permaculture ushered in a new age in agriculture and gardening : this is what we call evolve. (rethink, discard some advances, accept others and even get back to our true roots in some aspects).

  • Antonio Dos Santos on December 3, 2020

    Very nice@

  • Eva Zigon on December 13, 2020

    I don't live in a temperate area. I live at an elevation of 664m above sea level in Slovenia (just south of Austria, with roughly the same climate) and have a garden measuring 1,600 square metres where mostly pine trees grow. I would probably have to chop those down, as they make the soil very acidic. I'd love to create a food forest, but most of the vids and instructions I've found so far are for warmer climes with deciduous trees… I guess I'll just have to wing it. 😀

  • Tyahriine Sounii on December 17, 2020

    I always had a vision to built a natural garden in my town because of the rising climatic changes that I've been seeing in my own hometown and I was confused cause I also wanted to give it a very natural feeling but didn't know how, but now after I've watched this I've got the idea how to, thanks a lot.

  • Autumn Galix on December 22, 2020

    I want to have a backyard forest garden like that.

  • Nathan Migdal on January 8, 2021

    This is why Native Americans couldn't understand why anyone would want to become a farmer when that idea was first introduced to them by colonists.

  • Jared B on January 17, 2021

    This is so amazing.

  • HappyGuy on January 18, 2021

    Does it attract snakes ?

  • Joyce Beattie on February 7, 2021

    I Love this!

  • Shan MacPherson on February 8, 2021

    Great project. Now just add biochar to pyrolize all the waste (husks, fallen branches…), activate the biochar (pee works well!) and reintroduce to the land for a huge boost in fertility and yield, plus simultaneously sequestering carbon for thousands of years

  • Abundantly Healthy Forever on February 11, 2021

    He makes so much sense.

  • Steve Hawkes on February 12, 2021

    STOP, STOP, STOP!! You are promoting the introduction of invasive plants into natural ecosystems. Invasive plants and insects have caused some of the greatest harm to our forests. Gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, kudzu "the vine that ate the south", giant hogweed, oriental bittersweet. Shall I go on? Most of the these invasive plants were introduced for their aesthetic appeal and since they have no natural controls they have gotten out of control. The most effective and common control measure then becomes the application of chemical herbicides. There is at least one and I believe two invasive plants in Martin's garden. Bamboo is shown several times in this video and I think that is oriental bittersweet behind him in a couple of shots. Nat Geo should pull this video and produce one that is more compelling to not plant random plants in your forest.

  • Autumn Galix on February 13, 2021

    I would love to plant a forest of pre-pioneer native plants one day. I want to learn more about native recipies too.

  • Alfredo Libreros on February 16, 2021

    is it possible to implement agroforestry in places with very cold weather?

  • blueconversechucks on February 19, 2021

    Yeah but think about all the time it takes him to gather, name, cook, discipline, eat, and evacuate that food. I'll stick with my soylen't, thank you very much.

  • safffff1000 on February 23, 2021

    I love this kind of system and it's only what permaculture should mean, a self sustaining system. But could it feed the world with same acreage and labor, meaning gathering and shipping??

  • Miracles Happen on February 28, 2021

    If we don't mimic Nature but exploits Her instead, we are all dead.

  • my simple existence on March 5, 2021

    Just plant a tree it starts i like it

  • Marie-Noëlle Gagnon on March 11, 2021

    La planète dans son entièreté devrait être comme cette forêt-jardin!!! Splendide! De toute beauté!!! Magnifique!!!

  • Ci sto provando

  • quercus on April 5, 2021

    Great forest, Thank You.

  • Jannah Firdaus Mediapro on April 6, 2021

    this is the way………….the way of nature

  • Israfil Ahmed on April 10, 2021

    I would like to do something like this in 2000 sqft space but can't figure out what to do or how to design even after watching so many documentaries.

  • Zac Woods on May 4, 2021

    The world will never run out of food. Thats just a lie they tell to keep people living in fear and in compliance with their agenda. One Apple tree can feed hundreds of people for months and months.

  • PhantomsPortal1 on May 18, 2021

    Food forests are endlessly magical…

  • ▄Jyotish das▄ on May 19, 2021

    Unlikers are from chemical factories🤣

  • Yali's Community on June 2, 2021

    This is the way to go!

  • Pebika Bania on June 3, 2021

    Is there any minimum spacing between trees?

  • New Name on June 10, 2021

    In temperate England, closed canopy forests are not natural. As Martin said, semi forested areas store the most carbon and has the most photosynthesis. Otherwise climax forest overshades everything below the canopy and diseases spread from canopy to canopy. Photo synthetic processes are maximised in a open forest

  • Eric & Erika on August 5, 2021

    When safemoon makes me a billionaire I'm coming for you Permaculture !! Right now I can't can barely pay our rent living in Hawaii!

  • Kelly Hy on August 11, 2021

    what if this ecosystem was invaded by one or two invasive plants/creatures. what do you think would happen?

  • Justine Whiteowl Weldon on August 17, 2021

    ❤️ 💯

  • The Chaos Gardener on September 5, 2021

    This is the way

  • Chris Lecky on September 9, 2021

    Getting warmer, scale up, and mechanisation is the obstacle though, the idea is 2%.of the difficulty. I'm sure you realise that by now? we need to redesign an entire line a machinery to deal with a change in food production methods on much larger scales, as high energy density foods are the bread bask of modern civilisation. If we keep trying to redesign with agricultural machinery in mind we are designing the landscape around a tractor.👀🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣lol that makes no sense.

  • Gavin Herbert on September 25, 2021

    Love this

  • Piyush Giri on November 9, 2021

    "You dont have to know everything before begining it – plant trees and start with it " – instant inspiration

  • Dino noobster on November 28, 2021

    It would be better if they would be all native to the place

  • Noga on December 16, 2021

    I wonder what Charles Dowding makes of this, he's in the same climate yet has a completely different approach.

  • rudy s on January 8, 2022

    There is a similiar subhash palekar model in india which is promoted by government also

  • O'Nonymous on January 10, 2022

    Permaculture also seems like a great way to build community and start developing resilience and autonomy

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