MY FOOD FOREST
I STARTED WITH A BLANK CANVAS
Experimenting with different nuts was a must in my edible & herbal backyard food forest! Planting these FIRST was the way to go! They take many years before they produce nuts! And making sure I had the correct cross pollinators was KEY! I plant all my trees close together, keeping them compact and smaller than normal! I follow a practice that is not known to many people around here in PA! They seem to be flourishing!
90% Edible & HerbalI started with a blank canvas
In the middle of my suburban Pennsylvania half-acre backyard, I have designed a fully functioning & sustainable edible-herbal-gourmet-paradise; fit for a king! In full production, it is capable of producing enough food & homemade necessities to last my family an entire year! I have everything you can imagine planted including hundreds of fruits, herbs, vegetables, nuts, roots, companion plants, perennials, mushrooms, and extremely fragrant flowers! All compacted together into one self sufficient echo-system.
YES I do actually live in the suburbs
BEFORE I STARTED MY FOOD FOREST, you would have been able to see about 6 houses in this shot off in the distance - the whole concrete street, row of houses and all!! I live in the suburbs on a corner lot! I do have woods around my neighborhood and being on a corner lot helps for privacy - but I have added a great deal of coverage/privacy with my plants!
15 Years & CountingTHIS IS A LIFESTYLE TO ME!!!
This is not a project, this is a lifestyle for me! This is something I spend time on EVERY SINGLE DAY whether I am planting, harvesting, cooking, or creating - this is my lifestyle! Month after month there are exact chores that need done just like any other JOB! And even though I do not get paid to do this work, I save my family thousands of dollars a year! That is just as good as getting paid in my eyes! I provide a valuable service to my family that is measurable!
Fully Stocked With Specific Herbs & WeedsJust about everything I want and love is here
There is nothing more satisfying than walking out into my suburban edible & herbal food forest and harvesting what I need for the day! I have fully stocked my landscape with extremely valuable plants that can be of benefit to my entire family at different times of the year! I harness the powers of these plants as they become available and turn them into everyday homemade necessities that are healthier for my family and save us money every year!
Easy Access!I made sure I could drive a vehicle around my food forest
Being able to haul heavy equipment, wheel barrows, and even cars around my edible & herbal food forest was a necessity for me! I wanted to always have easy access from all sides and corners! Even when I create a fence or a barrier, I make sure it is removable so I can always get through if I need to! I can also add tables and chairs to block off sections if needed! I never create a section unless it has easy access from all angles - it is one of the first things I think of!
Every Inch Has PurposeEvery plant is special & necessary!
Every single inch of my property is accounted for! Every single plant has its own special space to live in harmony with the rest of the plants! I have 5 special rules...You must be edible/medicinal, fragrant, memorable, beautiful, and purposeful to take up a spot at my address! If you do not fulfill one of these strict requirements, you will either get the boot, or never be allowed in!
I Am Connected To The EarthI feel at peace with the way I live
I love being connected to the earth! I feel complete the second I step outside into my own special world! This is what I was born to do! ALL my senses immediately come alive and my heart is at peace! The endless hours of hard work, dedication, and persistence have finally paid off at this point and my landscape has developed into a well oiled food producing machine! My heart is fulfilled!
A 1/2 Acre Of Land Can Produce More Than You Think!!It is truly incredible how much food I can grow on a 1/2 acre
It is truly amazing how much food and herbal remedies you can produce in small spaces - on your own land - even in icy-cold climates! Imagine if everyone had a backyard like this...it should be as common as microwaves and tv's! From small neighborhoods, to larger communities the impact would be substantial if everyone had a backyard that supplied such wealth!
My Own Biodiverse EcosystemThriving in the middle of my suburban neighborhood
My plants are loving life! The ecological balance is in check and everything is in harmony together as one! My entire backyard landscape thrives within its own little ecosystem creating an incredibly abundant edible & herbal food forest! Plants thrive because they are being given what they need and want to survive! And even though I have the final word, I allow nature to take over and lead the way!
MushroomsThe perfect food for you and your garden
As soon as I added mushrooms into my edible & herbal food forest, the entire dynamic changed for the better! Not only are mushrooms a nutrient rich food source, but they are also super easy to grow in a backyard atmosphere! Plus, their byproduct from cultivation will unlock nutrients that can be used by nearby plants, animals, and insects! Mushrooms are so much more valuable than people may think. Growing them in your own backyard will supply numerous benefits!
Vertical Gardening Is A Must For Me You are missing out if you don't take advantage of vertical spaces
I added a whole new dimension once I took advantage of all the space ABOVE my landscape! I will use anything to grow plants UP! Trellises, arbors, fences, poles, pergolas, and even other plants and trees! Keeping something like pumpkins off the ground except for the exact spot its attached to your soil will double and triple your space allowing you to grow even more!
All my annuals are started inside under lightsCreating much healthier plants
Along with all the many perennial fruits & vegetables, I also grow summer plants like tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, etc...and start them all indoors right in the middle of my kitchen! Growing plants from seed is a much better option for me! I not only save a ton of money, but all my plants are much healthier and never have to go through any shock from traveling in hot trucks or sitting on shelves for months!
Good Bug Bad BugBring in the beneficials
If you want to avoid pesticides and horrific chemicals, chose a path that allows natural allies to take care of everything for you! I created the perfect balance by adding specific plants that encourage biodiversity! This in turn will supply you with the most natural and effective pest control out there! Let Mother Nature handle it! She knows what to do already!
Self Sustaining-Self SufficientI grow my own fertilizer
I grow my own food to feed my plants as well! This is comfrey and probably the MOST useful and important plant in my entire yard! I have over 50 sections of it in very specific areas all around my edible & herbal food forest! Comfrey creates a path to nutrition and brings up the nutrients from deep in the soil! These mined nutrients slowly become available and can be used in more ways than one! This is a MUST HAVE self sufficient powerhouse of a plant that fits into any permaculture setting!