Here’s a great food forest idea – more creature habitat!
Over the holidays I got a bit obsessed with building bird houses and feeders for my food forest.
I’ve never been much of a bird watcher (though I am an honorary member of the Audubon Society, thanks to my guitar); however, I’ve become very interested in how they interact with the ecosystem.
The forest provides cover and nesting areas for birds. Every day, the birds will roam far and wide, fill up their bellies, then return to the woods and leave their rich droppings at the base of their arboreal homes.
It’s a good trade, and it’s something I need more of in my fledgling food forest. Most birds provide more in pest control than we appreciate – enough so that I don’t begrudge them a few fruit here and there.
The little birdhouse above is the first one I ever made. It’s built from recycled pallet wood with a hammered out #10 can for the roof.
I also added a little initial plate on the back:
I went on Amazon and bought a cool set of letter and number punches like this. They work pretty darn well, though it’s not easy to line them up perfectly by eye. The copper is from a piece of scrap pipe. I snipped out chunks and hammered it flat to make little plates for my birdhouses.
Here’s the whole back:
Not the best photo, I know, but I already gave the house away so I can’t take another one.
I’m building more for my yard – I actually bought a book on building birdhouses (which I never thought I’d do) to ensure I drill the right size holes and have the right nest spaces for a variety of species.
Along with adding nesting spaces, I’m also adding feeders to the yard and I also built one for my mom for Christmas:
That’s now hanging under the mango tree in The Great South Florida Food Forest Project.
I may also add a birdbath to the front yard.
Along with building more space for birds, I’m going to create a lot of space for solitary bees, plant a bunch of flowers for the butterflies, and hopefully add a bat house… but those are posts for another time.
I love the winter – I get a chance to mess around with projects that aren’t related to planting and harvesting.
Can anyone think of other wildlife that would be worth bringing into the food forest?