Thanks for asking this OrganicSu!
Now I have the opportunity to tell (rave on to) someone else about my new revolutionary plans for our garden.
(Our friends aren't quite as garden/self sufficiency-obsessed as we!)
Each year around this time (it's spring here) I plan some type of household 'improvement', originally I thought in terms of these as money-saving ideas but really they have all been about living more sustainably;
eg. one year I bought a bicycle & use it to go to work & other errands locally, another was getting our house insulated, then setting up a worm farm, cold water for laundry & making our own detergent, 2 meatless days/week....
The last few years we have had 'use what's in the cupboard' as our theme. We interpret this in the broadest sense from not overstocking up on groceries, eating from the garden & the freezer, fruit wine making, repairing stuff we already have, using our own skills or learning how to do things etc etc & also trying to make full use of all that grows here for compost making & shredding our prunings for mulches, & firewood...
I seem to have finally digested some of the ideas from permaculture, & about food forests in particular. It all makes sense (my degree was in Ecology) & pulls together things I have experimented with in a piecemeal kind of way up til now.
So now the goal is to incorporate our existing free standing fruit trees & plants & develop them into more of a food forest. I've been learning about plant Guilds & have already made a start around some of the old freestanding citrus trees that were set in lawn.
I've laid down layers of newspaper & cardboard & fertiliser + compost, mulched heavily with all sorts of garden trimmings & started surrounding them with supportive plants (which I already had seeds of or growing elsewhere, had no need to buy any!) from their guild ...it doesn't look so tidy for now but I am delighted with the progess so far.
In time all of the fruiting trees will get linked together into my version of a food forest! So suddenly I am looking at cardboard & 'weeds' with completely new eyes!
& DH likes that we have less & less lawn to mow. His project is a wildflower meadow under the dwarf fruit trees where lawn once was.
In the vege garden I have adopted the ideas of 'no dig' (its quite a change to be weeding with secateurs, leaving the roots behind to rot!) & 'keep the soil covered'. I always mulched a lot but have started planting sacrificial green crops between the rows of seeds & seedlings too.
Long term I hope this 'revolution' will also reduce the heavy work as there will be less digging, weeding & mowing to do. Well that's the theory!
Then next is to try & reduce the amount of plastic coming in to this house...