Volunteers plant Hitchin food forest garden

Volunteers are planting trees and shrubs for the "forest garden" project

Volunteers are planting trees and shrubs for the "forest garden" project - Credit: Archant

WORK on an innovative ‘food forest’ which will yield fruit and vegetables for years to come got under way at the weekend.

One volunteer hard at work, preparing the Triangle Garden's forest garden

One volunteer hard at work, preparing the Triangle Garden's forest garden - Credit: Archant

Green-fingered volunteers of all ages gathered at Ransom’s Recreation Ground in Hitchin to begin phase one of the new riverside forest garden.

A forest garden mimics the structure of natural woodland, with every inch of soil covered with plants, fruit trees, bushes and perennial vegetables including spinach, nine-star broccoli and Egyptian walking onions.

Trees and shrubs inter-planted in the forest convert nitrogen to fertilise the food-producing plant through a chemical process.

The project, led by the Triangle Garden and sponsored by Hitchin Waitrose, will be used as a resource for local people.


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The aim is to show how the principles of forest gardening can be used anywhere to provide fruit and vegetables with minimal effort.

Triangle Garden organiser Vicky Wyer said: “We want to demonstrate how, if you are careful in your initial planning, you can set up a self-balancing growing system which is wildlife-friendly and doesn’t use a lot of valuable resources and energy.

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“It will take a few years for the trees we are planting now to start fruiting and for the garden to be self-regulating and I’m sure it will take us a while to get this right, but we’ve embarked on a great journey and we’re delighted that Waitrose have chosen to help us get started.

“Once established, the forest garden will need virtually no watering, so this is altogether a low input/high output system.”

Waitrose Hitchin is providing money to purchase trees and shrubs, and volunteers are pitching in to make the project possible.

Customer service manager Simon Kirbyshire, who helped out with the weekend’s tree planting, said: “We are delighted to support the Triangle Garden’s forest garden project, and hope that it will begin a new legacy in our community.”

For more information on the Triangle Garden’s projects, visit www.trianglegarden.org, follow @Triangle_Garden on Twitter, or search on Facebook.

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