Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Edible Forests....why not follow the earth's model of gardening?

I am in love.
In love with the idea of perennial, edible, forest gardens.

So in love, in fact, that I tore out half of our front yard to install one.

The front yard-conversion project has been coming along very nicely, my dad drove all the way from Marysvale, Utah to help me install the checkerboard patio for bike parking in the front.  He's going on the "Elm Tree Heroes" list.  

We hauled in approximately 2 1/2 tons of garden soil and as we spread the soil around I said "I would sure love to get some stepping stones....."  Minutes later, I found a whole stack of them in the craigslist free section!   And soon after sending an email expressing interest in the stepping stones, a woman named Leslie called me back and asked "Is this Elm Tree?  My kids went to Elm Tree 12 years ago!"  She was so happy to give us the stepping stones and now the patch of land is actually starting to look like a garden!

The plan for this spring is to plant our greenhouse overflow veggies, mainly squashes and tomatoes, as well as a cover crop for erosion control, nutrient enrichment and more!  In the fall we will plant bushes, trees and in the spring of 2013 we'll do the final installation of perennial fruits and vegetables, and the garden will literally tend itself (with some help), and come back every year.  

We hope to finish the fence, gates and planting in the next few weeks, shoot us an email if you want to help out, we ALWAYS accept volunteer labor. (:

Here is a quote that I just love about edible forest gardening from Edible Forest Gardens' website, a cool place to learn more about this idea:

"Forest gardening is an idea whose time has come. We can consciously apply the principles of ecology to the design of home scale gardens that mimic forest ecosystem structure and function, but grow food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, "farmaceuticals," and fun. Indeed, we must begin learning to apply ecological principles to the design of our food production systems now—we are rapidly approaching or are already at the peak of planetary oil production, and the world of energy descent is upon us. This sea change in our culture will require that we learn to live within our energetic means and begin to rebuild ecosystems that support human and humane lives without diminishing the ability of the ecosystem to support our children and grandchildren."