A food forest, or forest garden, is a garden, edible landscape, or agricultural system in which food plants are grown in ways that follow – not fight – nature’s own patterns of growth and production.
Food forests are typically designed systems that use the principles of permaculture to create edible landscapes that are both beautiful and functional. Instead of constant plowing and weeding to produce annual crops, the emphasis is on perennial plants that produce abundant crops each year with minimal input.
The result is a naturally productive, aesthetically pleasing yard or garden that requires minimal maintenance in return for delicious food, medicines, teas, sanctuary space, and so much more, growing in beauty and diversity with each passing year.
Why food forests? Why now?
It’s 2022. Need we say more?
In the words of the late great Bill Mollison, known as the “Father of Permaculture”: “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”
In a world that has become increasingly polarized and separated from Nature, edible landscaping and permaculture offer an embarrassingly simple solution to a whole multitude of issues, from toxins in our food and soil to mounting rates of depression and anxiety, from threats to food security to disappearing pollinators, from rising cost of living to loss of beauty and purpose in life. What’s more, this natural approach to food production is something everyone can get behind, offering the potential for bringing humanity back to a much-needed state of unity.
Here are 10 great reasons to consider installing a food forest in your yard or on your property:
- Food Forests are easy. Perennial plants are low maintenance and take little effort to produce food & medicine for years.
- Food Forests are a great investment. Growing your own food has a great ROI (return on investment) compared to buying the same foods at the store—especially when food prices are on the rise! And because they’re a permanent landscape installation designed for beauty as well as production, they tend to raise property value, too.
- Food security. You can create greater food security with a local food system that starts with a food forest & extends indoors.
- The yum factor. The taste and flavor of fresh picked fruits, berries, vegetables, & herbs is far and beyond anything you can buy in a store.
- The zen factor. Ever hear of forest bathing? Studies show that time spent amongst trees has amazing benefits for mental and emotional health. Spending time in your food forest can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue, and create opportunities for meditation.
- Food forests heal the earth. Food forests create diverse ecosystems for nature to flourish and provide more abundance and animal habitat. Regenerating soil through perennial agriculture and composting creates healthier plants, foods, & ecosystems.
- Grow your medicine. Your food forest can supply powerful herbal remedies, medicinal teas, and “food as medicine” at a fraction of the cost and much fresher than buying them at the store. And, once they’re in your garden, the supply chain is as simple as stepping outdoors.
- Safe food. You can reduce your consumption of poisons and toxins from chemically sprayed foods.
- Self reliance. Greater freedom is attained through a self-reliant and empowered food system starting in your own yard.
- Stronger communities. From being a conversation piece to the sharable abundance of food and pleasant environment they provide, food forests naturally bring people together and promote positive connections in your community.
Tap Into the Abundance Nature Provides
Look at any natural system, be it forest, desert, river, or savannah. All the elements of that system co-exist to create a harmonious whole. Such systems are naturally abundant, beautiful, harmonious, and sustainable, and support the health and well being of every species in it.
Nature knows how to create systems that work. Doesn’t it make sense that all we need to do to get back on track to living abundantly is to emulate how she does things? And what better place to start than a food forest?
To learn more about edible landscaping options for your property, contact us here.