Our New Food Forest
Ok, so to be honest I am not a super experienced gardener. Our last home where we had a garden was several years ago (which wasn’t very big and my mom helped with it most of the time) and the garden we have now is still being established (this will be our third year in it and we broke ground on it). Therefore, I really feel like a novice gardener and, so being, I have tried doing a lot of research on the best way to go about it all. Through out my research I stumbled upon this whole Permaculture concept and almost instantly fell in love with the whole concept. I haven’t yet taken a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) course, but it is definitely in my future plans. In reading a whole bunch of books and watching several related films and youtube videos, I came across the idea of a food forest.
A food forest is a multi-level, mutually beneficial system of planting different fruit and nut trees, bushes and plants so that they are all working together in harmonious ways. What I love about the whole concept is that after the first few initial years of designing, planting and setting up the food forest, and because mostly perennial trees and plants are utilized, the whole system virtually takes care of itself. It can produce HUGE amounts of food and herbs etc for a very long time with little effort. I have been dying to get our food forest started somewhere on our property as we didn’t have a single fruit tree or berry bush, but I knew it would also be best to go slow and watch how our little property works (ie the amount of sunlight, paths water take, etc).
Fast forward to last week and I finally broke ground and started planting our food forest. So far there is one apple tree planted and a blueberry bush and a perennial ground cover, but it’s a start. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far on this homesteading journey, it’s that sometimes you just have to jump in and start something. Sure, I could plan and plan and plan some more but sometimes it’s the hardest thing to just jump in with both feet and get started. Whether or not that plan will fail at least you tried it.
So on to our food forest, originally it is/was part of our driveway but we are currently in the process of changing most of our front yard and driveway plan. As you can see,the ground is covered in small rocks and the soil underneath is very depleted. A big part of this project is going to be inputting soil amendments and fertilizers.
This before picture is taken just outside our front door, not a pretty sight yet.
Our sad grass and mostly gravel front yard.
This is where the majority of the trees are going to go. See all those pots by the wheelbarrow?
Ha HA! Plants! and Trees! What you see are a few blueberry bushes, a cherry and a dwarf cherry, and a hazelnut tree. Now to build some swales and plant those things!
So this is how far I’ve gotten so far. A mini swale and a couple things planted.
Stay tuned as this food forest (hopefully) comes together over the next while.