Why have a lawn when you can have this?
This is what I shoot for in my own food forest projects. My North Florida food forest was a great success by its fifth year and will only grow more beautiful and productive over time.
Though I believe annual gardens will always have their place in a food production system due to their very short time until production and their high yields, making a food forest part of your homestead makes a lot of sense. As a gardener grows older and bending and hoeing become more difficult, having productive trees and shrubs reaching their potential will provide abundant organic food for his table without the labor that goes into a traditional backyard garden.
Plus, the beauty of a forest is good for the soul – and the food and herbs they produce are something to smile about.
Though I am currently renting, my goal is to purchase a piece of property and create a new, fully tropical food forest down here near the equator. When my money comes in from Nigeria, I ought to be totally set to get whatever I like. I might even buy an entire island.
For now, I’m re-learning my plants and the rate of weed and tree growth down here is nothing short of astounding.
Right now I’m greatly missing my old food forest. Every day there was something new to see or taste out there. I am particularly interested in seeing how my experimental grafts are doing right now, though I am glad to be missing pollen season.
Some of my restlessness should be cured when I get a piece of land of my own to work with; however, I am renting a gorgeous place right now and just started putting in new beds, so I really don’t have anything to complain about.
And speaking of happiness, if you have land, why not dedicate a piece to creating a food forest?
Doesn’t this look a lot more inviting than a lawn?
I love the woods. Woods that produce food and medicine are even better. And the wildlife is wonderful… I had so many bees, frogs, beetles, butterflies and birds on my old food forest that it was a source of constant wonder. It took a few years to get the ecosystem going, but as the number of species increased, my pest problems went way down.
I’m always encouraged by seeing other people have the same success. Go ye out and make some forest!
P.S. If you live in Florida, my little booklet will inspire you.
I am seriously questioning this year whether a forest garden is less work than annual crops. I’ve tried letting the trees just do their own thing and I seem to have just as many pest and disease problems with my fruit trees than I have with my annual beds- maybe more. The volume of fruit is sometimes overwhelming, even from a single mature tree. Pruning, thinning fruit, applying compost, applying mulch, disposing of dropped fruit… I wonder if I would feel differently, and handle the forest garden differently, if I didn’t live in the suburbs. They also don’t address weed trees at all. If I didn’t go through and pull all the camphor, oak and wild cherry seedlings they would take over the garden. The forest garden is still bringing in wonderful birds, butterflies, and all sorts of wildlife, and I truly do believe that it;s better for the environment over all, but I would argue that it’s as much work.
It seems to me that it would cease to become work if one didn’t need to rely on a j.o.b. in order to make it happen. Your life’s work then becomes tending and caring for your food forest. That, to me, would be life’s highest goal and the most admirable work attainable.
Have a great day!
I love this video! Thank you for sharing it. Would love to get to know this couple. They sure are happy living their lives. Very encouraging.