I started a food forest along the fence back behind the garden. A food garden/forest as defined by Wikipedia is: a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.
There are 7 layers to a food forest and even more if you start to count mycorrhiza (fungal/plant) interactions.
I will be the first to admit that I do not have all 7 layers in my food forest. I do not have vines or root crops (actually, I forgot that root crops should be a part of a food forest)!
Here is a picture of the food forest in May. Everything was so small and I thought it would never fill in but things did grow nicely as you can see in the video below.
The plants in a food forest are chosen to benefit each other. Some are nitrogen fixers, some are dynamic accumulators (pull up nutrients from deep in the soil and bring them up to the surface), some are to attract pollinators, some are to detour pests, some provide shade and some provide food!
Here is a quick walk through of my food forest:
Here is a nice article about forest gardening. It would be fun to have a food forest around the perimeter of our property but that would take a LOT of work but could be a goal for the future…I like the idea of mixing beneficial plants together and I have SO many more trees I want to add to the property.
The past couple of weeks I have been putting wood chips down on the food forest.