Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Food Forest Overview (Literally)

Thanks to the scary spy equipment at,
I have been able to find a pretty detailed
photo of my (not-yet-started) forest garden.

This pic seems to have been taken RIGHT
before I started work, like march 2008 or so.

I can't wait to see this same angle with
the dome and the deck and all the plants,
hopefully by next year that will be up.

One day Ill have to fly over the area
and get some really good shots.

I put some black lines in to show where I
have been thinning out the canopy and
adding in more fruit trees. I put all the chopped
up wood back into the soil to soak up moisture,
and any shoots that come up (coppice) will be
used for even more mulch. Also...there are
always culinary mushrooms to grow as well.

The land gets hit by the sun's energy so well all day,
that it really is a perfect spot. And with the southern
slope going down to the road, the grapes are just
loving it. Seeing it just makes me want to get
back there and work on more soil building
and mulching and whatever else I can do.

Check around on Bing Maps to see if you can spot
your future food forest. Chances are it will be detailed
enough to really lay out a good plan for next spring.

I have 1.8 acres, mostly wooded.
To the right of the pic just past the
black lines, I plan to put in a little
watering hole no more than 20x10ft.
Just enough to keep lots of frogs and
other animals around, providing a more
balanced ecosystem close to the garden.
There are some good water sources about 200 feet
away, but lets get it as local as we can.

I wont lay down plastic though,
I'll just compact the base of the "pond"
as much as I can, and then it will slowly drain
throughout the season and refill when the rains
come. Unless there is a serious drought, there should
always be some water sitting around in there.
Sure, it might invite mosquitoes, but it invites
frogs and other animals that eat their larvae as well.

Biodiversity happens because of diverse microclimates.
The more of these we can create on one piece of land,
the better our chances are for making it through
tough times. And again, I never had to spray for
ANYTHING. The occasional tomatillo this summer
needed a little beetle maintenance (squishing), but really,
All pest problems stem from the idiocy of monoculture.
Plant ONE type of plant in a field, and what would
ever entice any other animal BESIDES the one
that likes to eat on that one single crop?
Predator populations just cant keep up with
exploding pest populations that have found a major
food source. Im rambling here, but you get the point.
Plant as many different plants and you can,
and let your spiders and snakes and frogs live to see
another day so they can keep the system in check.
The more we do early on, the less we have to do later.

Won't it feel nice to plant your own garden of Eden,
and then tell your kids and grandkids all about it
as you sit around drying fruit and making art?

To know that these simple (but temporarily laborious)
actions can actually feed us and free us later on in life is
such a powerful and needed idea that I have really focused
most of my attention on it. I have some serious food forest
projects in the works and will be releasing more and more
info as the developments unfold. If you have any desire
to start working on your own, let me know and send some
pictures over so we can share the inspiration with others.

This idea is bigger than me.
If someone out there wants to use this idea
and try to become the face and voice of food forest gardens,
PLEASE DO. The more the better.
Be the food forest supergoddess. I beg of you.
Take the idea and run with it!
Ill be right there with you, but the more
of us that can get this paradise planted,
the better off all of us will be.

Getting closer....

Of course I want you to be a conscious eater,
but more than that, I want you to build
your own little slice of Eden for you and yours.

One leads to the other, but the latter is
a far step from the former. You can do it though,
and I am here to help (or at least inspire?)