Edible Forest Gardening

Until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of an “Edible Forest”–

Edible forest gardening is the art and science of putting plants together in woodlandlike patterns that forge mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden ecosystem that is more than the sum of its parts. You can grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, other useful plants, and animals in a way that mimics natural ecosystems. You can create a beautiful, diverse, high-yield garden. If designed with care and deep understanding of ecosystem function, you can also design a garden that is largely self-maintaining. In many of the world’s temperate-climate regions, your garden would soon start reverting to forest if you were to stop managing it. We humans work hard to hold back succession—mowing, weeding, plowing, and spraying. If the successional process were the wind, we would be constantly motoring against it. Why not put up a sail and glide along with the land’s natural tendency to grow trees? By mimicking the structure and function of forest ecosystems we can gain a number of benefits.

Anyone with a patch of land can grow a forest garden. They’ve been created in small urban yards and large parks, on suburban lots, and in small plots of rural farms. The smallest we have seen was a 30 by 50 foot (9 by 15 m) embankment behind an urban housing project, and smaller versions are definitely possible. ….


We were approached about helping to create an “Edible Forest”  on a strip of land currently covered in concrete near our house across the street from a school…  Immediately we began to imagine fig trees, chestnut trees, mushrooms, herbs and frogs…  Hopefully we will be reporting some progress soon.

This entry was published on March 19, 2012 at 1:21 am and is filed under farming, garden, seasonal food. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Edible Forest Gardening

  1. What an absolutely incredible idea! If you need any help digging, I’m in the Capitol Hill area and would love to get involved. (Suann of Simplesong told me all about your glorious dinner parties and said you were a person I should get to know.)

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