Definition: A type of map that shows the profile of the vegetation growing across a field, from the ground up.
Side View Maps in the Forest Garden:
Side view maps become a critical planning and optimization tool during the second year of the Forest Garden program. This is when farmers revisit their initial designs, observe what is currently growing on their land, and consider how to fill in remaining gaps to optimize productivity.
While top view maps are very good for analyzing and planning for optimization of horizontal space, side view maps give a farmer a better understanding of the vertical gaps in their field. To help optimize production utilizing these gaps, the Forest Garden Approach looks at seven vegetative layers.
As farmers carefully select species to add into each layer, they make sure to keep neighboring plants' growth requirements and characteristics to avoid any resource competition or overcrowding.