Alder Burns wrote: I've learned to think, and to work, in patches rather than isolated plants or even small guilds of plants. You want to open up a clearing big enough to let some sun hit the ground....most of our useful food plants, even the trees, either need this or will benefit greatly from it. A good way to proceed is to simply fence the whole clearing and start an annual garden in there. While that's going on, plant out your perennials and fruit trees and so on right in there among the veggies, corn, etc. Keep on planting veggies in there until the perennials start to fill in the space. Eventually you quit with the annuals and have the food forest in place. The new trees and such will benefit hugely from the addditonal water and attention primarily directed at the annuals. If you want more useful trees, etc. or more veggie area then you make a new patch adjacent, or at a distance, and start the process over again.
S Bengi wrote:If you want to build a house, you are just going to have to clear cut that 1/4 acre of land. As humans we require resources from our environment both local and offsite.
If you want a food forest you are just going to have to clear cut another acre. But that still leaves another 3 acres that you can leave natural.
You can also keep honey bee, chicken/duck, a spring fed fish pond, and I hazard to say some goats in a pen. All of those are fine in the shade, as long as you buy your feed/hay vs buying the meat directly from the supermarket.