Food forests are production systems that try to mimic nature. Rather than growing trees in grass, we aim for a variety of plants of different shapes and sizes among the trees. Like natural forests, food forests include layers from the ground up. By selecting plants relevant to each layer, space can be used efficiently and competition reduced. We also want to replicate the interactions between animals, soil and plants that make a forest ecosystem function.
In 2010 I was invited by a Canberra primary school to revive its garden which was started in 2008 and develop a food forest. The following guide uses that project as an example (see green text).