I have a little patch in my garden, about 4 X 4 feet and I just planted a black current bush and a heritage raspberry bush. I also sowed the plot with white clover seeds.
I dug out about a foot of soil until I hit clay, then I laid down a bunch of logs/branches. I threw on a bucket of kitchen scraps, and sheet mulched it with cardboard and large biodegradable paper garden sacks. Then I put 6 bags of sheep manure and another 4 bags of topsoil. Then I planted the two bushes and clover.
I guess my question is, what other edible plants could I plant to ensure a good polyculture? What dynamic mix would work well to get some deeper rooted plants?
a 4x4 space is fairly small, I think I would put a post of some kind on each side with some wires across to trellis your bushes on and maybe put in a couple more raspberries as one isn't really enough to get much food off of..
remember also the raspberries unless thornless will have thorns..which may make some harvest difficult.
raspberries and currants do not require much fertility so you can plant things that need fertility in your soil..but it really all depends on the foods you like and can grow in your area..
i would suggest greens, coles, or vine crops, vine crops take a lot of fertility and the coles or greens would really love it too..I use a lot of salads here so cut and come again mescluns work well for me..and would thrive in that situation..even would grow on the shady side of your bushes.
Bloom where you are planted.
Thanks for the lettuce suggestion, that's actually what I ended up planting. I guess I was just looking for delicious foods that would help the currants grow tasty, healthy berries. As I said, I put lots of clover seeds and I just planted lettuce. I might plant some tomatoes at the edges that get nice and sunny.
Any other ideas would be appreciated. Let's play a game called name that veggie!
Oh yeah, yesterday at the plant store, I asked about perennial kale and the lady looked at me like I had 3 heads. Apparently there's no such thing?
As for your polyculture...that currant bush will need a lot of pruning to prevent it from taking over that whole spot. You may want to consider pruning it to grow as a cordon, which is basically one vertical shoot.
If (more like when) you get baby runner raspberries coming up, you can use the young tender shoots as an asparagus substitute, or use the leaves in a salad or dry them for tea.
Michael Pilarski ("Skeeter") takes us on a tour of his three year old food forest, complete with many species of beneficial weeds. As he mentions each species, I try to include some comments, such as their purpose in the video.