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Exploring the potential of edible forest gardens: experiences from a participatory action research project in Sweden
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0596-627X
Inspire Action and Research AB, Knivsta, Sweden.
Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Agroforestry Systems, ISSN 0167-4366, E-ISSN 1572-9680Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

To meet the environmental challenges that are presently confronting society, the narrow focus on agricultural production needs to be altered to one that places equal value on the generation of crucial ecosystem services. Current research shows that perennial intercropping systems such as agroforestry may be a feasible alternative. Based on studies during the establishment of edible forest gardens in 12 participating farms in Sweden, this paper explores the potential of utilizing multi-strata designs for food production in temperate, highincome countries. Design and species composition of such gardens, types of food they provide, and how they would best fit into the present landscape are discussed. Factors for success and major problems related to the establishment are shared. Potential benefits were found to be closely related to a thorough analysis of the social and ecological contexts before establishment. Characteristics of the site and goals of the garden need to guide species and design choices. If forest garden approaches to food production should contribute to more than local selfsufficiency, the gardens need to increase in scale. Marginal lands and transitions areas between different land uses may be appropriate. Large knowledge gaps concerning potential production, social and economic benefits, and agronomic issues were identified.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018.
Keywords [en]
Agroforestry, Temperate climate, Sustainable food production, Design, Species composition, Multi-strata production
National Category
Agricultural and Veterinary sciences Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-66491DOI: 10.1007/s10457-018-0208-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-66491DiVA, id: diva2:1196641
Available from: 2018-04-10 Created: 2018-04-10 Last updated: 2018-04-13Bibliographically approved

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Björklund, Johanna

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