Kazakhstan Food Forest Research
Kazakhstan is the genetic origin of apples. In the foothills of the Tian Shan mountains, wild forests of fifty-foot tall apple trees embody an incredible diversity, tenacity, and history. For thousands of years, these mountains have been one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots of the world.
And yet, due to rapid development and shifting cultures, the forests are disappearing. More than 75% have been lost in the last 30 years, and the destruction continues despite international attention and collaboration. At the same time, the ancient genes of the Kazakh apple trees may hold keys to a truly sustainable agriculture. The drought tolerance, disease resistance, wild polycultures, and ecosystem characteristics of the Kazakh apple forests can provide valuable patterns and strategies for permaculture design and climate change resilience in cold temperate climates around the world.
Apios Institute President Ethan Roland Solaviev has traveled to Kazakhstan three times in the last 10 years, documenting the wild fruit ecosystems and working to preserve them. In 2013, Apios Institute signed memorandums of cooperation with two excellent Kazakh organizations: Kazakh Institute of Horticulture and Viticulture and the Institute for Ecological and Social Development.
In 2015-2017, the Apios Institute will participate in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping project to locate and quantify the extent of the wild apple forests in southern and eastern Kazakhstan. This will aid in further research and preservation efforts. Also in 2015-2017, we will support our Kazakh colleagues with wild fruit tree propogation, training in permaculture, and a new research concentration in organic orchard practices.
Both projects are pending funding - If you or your organization would like to help preserve the wild apple forests, please contact us for more information.
Edible Forest Garden Wiki
The Edible Forest Garden Wiki connects forest gardeners around the world to an editable resource of interconnected plant species, polycultures, and forest gardens. Users can add their own observations and experiments, create new polyculture designs, and manage their own forest garden page!
The Wiki creates a self-supporting network that functionally interconnects gardeners, permaculturists, universities, NGOs, for minimal competition and maximum cooperation. This is the cutting-edge research grounds for the next generation of ecological agriculture -- and we'll need your input.
Check out the wiki entries that we've made available for free in the sidebar to the right, and add your own photos and experiences with the plants!
The wiki is built using open-source Drupal architecture in collaboration with several web development firms. As of April 2014, Apios has 165 perennial polycultures, over 700 perennial crops, and 118 paid subscribers, and a beta-testing site in Spanish for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.
We also welcome volunteers with a solid knowledge of Drupal to help us develop the wiki. If you're interested, contact us for more information.
Perennial Food Project (completed)
The Perennial Food Project will propagate and research the culture of perennial food crops at a home-scale level in a semi-urban village context. Here we mean the phrase “the culture of perennial food crops” in its broadest sense. This project will investigate, develop, and spread the horticultural knowledge and practices required to grow perennial vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, small fruits, tree fruits, and nuts as integrated ecosystems in a village setting.
This project had a lot of support and interest over many months, with hundreds of people involved in the initial planning stages. Apios Institute and the Perennial Food Project supported the creation of 'The Shelburne Falls Food Security Plan', which you can learn more about by clicking HERE <---
For more information about any of these exciting projects please contact us!