Posts Tagged ‘food forest’
Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on October 24th, 2011
The site in May 2009.
Two years later.
From “Suburban Dryland Forest Garden” on Permacultureglobal:
I love the forest, but I live in the city. Since I don’t get to the wildlands nearly enough, my goal has been to create an edible forest throughout the city where I live. To me, it only makes sense to grow food where people live, and since a gargantuan number of people live in cities, it’s due time to get urban food systems established. Having worked in large scale annual agriculture I’m much more inclined to grow food in the semblance of a perennial forest. [...]
There were many challenges to contend with for this garden. First was a mature black walnut that succumbed to thousand canker disease. The city required that the tree be taken down as soon as possible to stem the spread of the disease.[...]
We sheet mulched this area heavily, up to 18 inches in places, as adding organic matter is reportedly the best way to lock-up and break down allelopathic chemicals [from the black walnut]. We used cardboard from the local bike shop to smother the bluegrass lawn, cow manure from a local ranch for fertility, leaves the client had collected over the years, and cast-off strawbales. The soil is now a nicely assimilated, dark and crumbly consistency. We harvested the runoff from nearly half of the house roof surface to gravity feed through four infiltration basins as the sole irrigation source. While most landscapes in Boulder are over-irrigated with municipally treated water, this garden harvests almost 10,000 gallons of rainwater annually to passively infiltrate into the soil, requiring zero municipal water post establishment. [...]
We mulched the basins heavily with woodchips from a local tree trimmer to absorb the rainwater, reduce evaporation, and to prevent creating mosquito breeding habitat. Previously the water ran down the driveway and into the street only to evaporate in summer or ice up in winter. After three months of hand irrigation for plant establishment this garden now thrives strictly on harvested rainwater. After first digging the water harvesting earthworks, then planting the trees and shrubs, and following with sheet mulch, we planted various other useful plant species for nitrogen fixation, nutrient accumulation, pest confusion, and beneficial insect attraction. Most of the species have edible or medicinal qualities as well. [...]
The growth in this garden is fantastic, and even better the homeowner has become a sincere advocate for rainwater harvesting and forest gardening. It has been two years since the garden was installed and it is encouraging to see the abundant results of needing no irrigation, producing food, creating wildlife habitat, being a great place to bring students, and simply being beautiful. This garden is an awesome place to eat, observe, and be! The scale of the garden is only 750 sq. ft. and is therefore easily and affordably replicated. With extremely low maintenance and no continuous irrigation cost, this garden has attracted other city dwellers to extend the edible forest ecosystem to other yards and neighborhoods. Perhaps the greatest yield from this garden is the food forest revolution that it has inspired!
Read the full article (including plant details) on Permacultureglobal.com