Guild - /gild/ - ecological grouping

October 7, 2020

Definition: A group of species, including plants, trees, animals, and insects, that work together to help ensure their collective health and productivity.

A Closer Look:  All of the components of a guild serve one or more functions that contribute to a healthy, natural environment. One component on its own may be weak, but the combination of all of them together adds to the overall strength and longevity of the Forest Garden.

The 7 Main Components of a Forest Garden Guild

1. Providers: plants that provide food and money e.g fruits, vegetables, grains, and timber

2. Fertilizers: legumes that fix nitrogen into the soil

3. Miners: deep-rooted plants or tubers that open the soil and bring up nutrients from deep in the subsoil, releasing them as organic matter in the leaf litter

4. Climbers:  plants that take advantage of vertical space

5. Supporters: plants that provide support for the climbers

6. Cover crops: shallow-rooted, surface-level plants that cover the ground and shade and protect the soil, hold moisture, and control weeds

7. Protectors: plants that protect your site and the crops within, e.g. insectary plants, aromatic pest confusers, and green walls.