Plan & Collect: Steps toward a Miyawaki Forest

In this series, we are going through the stages and steps to create a mini-forest, based on the Miyawaki method.

The previous article focused on the first stage – Dream and Observe – and today, we will look into the second – Plan and Collect.

These articles are based on the guide developed by the non-profit Vida, on how to build a Miyawaki forest.

Plan and Collect

Task 4: Draw the forest

It is time to project your forest. A good design will be able to integrate your vision as well as the characteristics of the plot you’ve chosen. You want to maximize all your resources; waste nothing! Consider water retention and organic matter management, how to make use of solar energy efficiently, and the interaction with and between the community.

This is the map URBEM projected for their second Fast Forest, including planted areas, paths, water points and ponds, among other information.


Task 5: Plan irrigation

Irrigation is a crucial aspect. Even though the plan is that your forest will become self-sufficient within two or three years, this time is extremely important to determine the survivability of your plants. And of course, water is a major player. When you are planning the watering scheme make sure to consider the needs of different species, as well as how these needs might change over time, and the weather conditions and precipitation patterns of the place your forest is located.

Watering can be done in several ways. Installing a drip irrigation mechanism would be more costly but probably more efficient.


Task 6: Collect resources

The final task of this second stage is to collect the resources. This step’s success is dependent on your commitment to Task 1. The more people and skill sets you bring on board, the smoother it will be to find the resources you need. Another relevant point to consider is to have some sort of shelter to keep your tools, plants, and other resources. This will minimize theft and maximize the material’s lifetime.

All the mulch used on URBEM’s forests was provided by a local partner who has it as a waste product. | Photo by Pierre François DOCQUIR


“Mini Forests for Giant Lessons” Guide – credits to
Photos kindly provided by URBEM Forests



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