In the first part of her series Cathy Isom tells you why you can, and should, grow your own food forest. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Food forests are a collection of productive trees and plants set up in such a way that they can help one another thrive and eventually provide an abundance of food – that’s absolutely free I might add – for years to come. Food forests are designed to be low maintenance, because most of the flora in these systems are either perennial plants or self-seeding annuals. So other than setting up, there’s little work to be done after that. Other than supplying you and your family with plenty of food, the food forests also serve other purposes, such as wildlife habitat, firewood, mulch, shade and low maintenance lawns. The key to a successful food forest is having good, nutrient-rich soil. Unlike vegetable gardens or grass lawns, no fertilizer or organic compost is required. And it won’t be necessary to weed, water or replant anything. Forests handle these issues themselves, dropping leaves, twigs, branches, and even entire trees to feed the soil life, which in turn creates fertile, rich soil to grow new trees and plants. Trees prevent evaporation and transpire water into the atmosphere to keep things moist.
And knowing that you won’t be using any harmful chemicals, pesticides or other materials – except for the earth itself, you can guarantee a much healthier food product when that forest starts producing.
I’m Cathy Isom…
Coming up tomorrow on This Land, Cathy gives you some pointers on how to get started on planning your own food forests and what you can grow.
Image credits: (top right) Image credit: Judge Right/Pinterest/urbanfoodforestry.org