Test the soil's Ph to find out what what it lacks. Great soil has a healthy blend of Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous -- all of which are generated from compostable materials.
Identify what species should be growing in this soil, depending on climate. It does not need to be native.
Acquire a locally-abundant biomass to feed the soil whatever nourishment it needs (may be an agricultural or industrial byproduct — like chicken manure or press mud, a byproduct of sugar production) — but it can be almost anything. The less distance you have to haul the biomass the better.
Amended the soil to a depth of ~one meter, plant saplings that are up to 80 centimeters high, packing them in very densely — three to five saplings per square meter.
The forest itself be planted to cover at least 100 square-meters, minimum. This space grows into a forest so dense that after eight months, sunlight can’t reach the ground. "At this point, every drop of rain that falls is conserved, and every leaf that falls is converted into humus. The more the forest grows, the more it generates nutrients for itself, accelerating further growth. This density also means that individual trees begin competing for sunlight — another reason these forests grow so fast."
Keep the forest watered and weeded for the first two or three years, after which it should become its own ecosystem and sustaining.
Leave it alone -- allow that ecosystem to work. Not all will, but those that do do for a reason.
The fastest way to grow a forest; directions modified for an ecosteader audience / adapted from the source below: