In this video we look at two apple tree guilds, a cherry tree guild, pine tree guild, and a few vegetable patches along the way.
A guild is a group of elements (eg. plants, animals, fungi, rocks, land features) that use the same resources, and/or the same space. These elements are not all necessarily edible but are ideally beneficial or at least neutral to the surrounding elements.
A clip from Toby Hemenway’s book Gaia’s Garden (http://www.patternliteracy.com/books/gaias-garden) lists some of the different elements that can make up a guild.
The Central Element – Food producing, wildlife supporting, or nitrogen fixing
Fruit trees – Apples, Peaches, Persimmons, Plums
Nut trees – Oaks, Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts
Nitrogen Fixers – Alders, Black Locust
Insect and Bird-Attracting Plants (Insectaries) – Lure pollinators and pest predators
Carrot family – Dill, Angelica, Chervil, Celery, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnip, Cilantro
Aster family – Yarrow, Sunflower, Aster, Calendula, Dahlia, Cosmos, Zinnia, Dandelion, Marigold, Daisy
Other great bird, bee, and butterfly plants: Borage, Nasturtium, Lavender, Lemon, Balm, Spearmint, Bergamont, Sweet Alyssum, Nettles
Nutrient Bio-Accumulators – Plants with deep taproots to draw up nutrients and minerals
Chicory, Plantain, Buckwheat, Burdock, Carrots, Dock, Beets, Dandelion
Nitrogen Fixers – Nutrient creation via fungal symbiosis on root nodules
Pea family – Peas, Beans, Indigo, Clover, Alfalfa, Lupine, Wisteria
Other nitrogen fixing Genus – Ceanothus, Elaeagnus, Hippophaë, Shepherdia
Mulch and Groundcover – Perennial soft leafy plants that break down into plant nutrients
Comfrey, artichokes, cardoon, clover, nasturtium, rhubarb
Grass-Suppressing Bulbs – keep grasses and weeds at bay with a circle of bulbs
Daffodils, Camas, Alliums (Garlic, Onions, Chives, Leeks)
Habitat Nooks – Attract more birds, bees, reptiles, and amphibians
Piles or rocks, stones, logs or brush,
Small ponds and water elements (Bird baths, fountains, greywater systems)