WHAT IS A FOOD FOREST?
“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
What was old, is new again.
The idea of combining food producing garden landscapes with trees and perennials is not new, in fact, it is possibly the oldest way to garden. Indigenous peoples around the world have thrived in diverse ecosystems while enhancing the world's soil, water, forests and climates using this wisdom. Some of these food forests can be seen to this day, hundreds of years later, without any human maintenance.
Food forests use diverse planting to mimic nature's seven forest layers including fruit, vegetables, herbs, and medicinal plants that grow well together and are often mutually beneficial to each other. Each plant is selected to be part of an ecologically sound community, one that is not only suited to its environment but the other plants around it. The food forest becomes a significant source of food while regenerating the very ground it exists upon.
By using this mimicry, we will be creating optimal growing conditions for a variety of healthy food generating plants and trees. This diversity creates resiliancy within the growing system and a healthier environment for plants and animals.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
Ancient Indian Proverb