Food Forests

IMG_8433Food forests are a way of gardening which allow tropical plants (mostly edible) to coexist in a garden design that is closer to nature than traditional edible gardens.

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Food forests are food-producing systems that generally require less maintenance, since most of the plants are perennial and don’t need to be replanted every year as you find in annual veggie/herb gardens.  Also as food forests mature, they shade the ground more so there is less weeding and less need for irrigation.

Like in nature, food forests have plants of many shapes and sizes. Big trees, small trees, bushes, climbing vines, and sprawling ground covers exist in food forests but mostly as edible fruit, vegetable and herb plants. There are also plants that are edible to insects and other wildlife as well as plants that feed add fertility to the soil.

For those of you that are interested in starting your own food forest in South Florida, I recommend learning about different tropical fruits if you don’t already know. My favorites are banana, papaya, passion fruit, mango, avocado, lychees, star fruit, star apple, custard apple, white sapote, black sapote, guava and mulberry. Citrus are prone to getting problems with citrus greening, so I recommend not planting citrus, or at least not a lot.

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Once established, food forests become very productive and are a wonderful addition to the 

IMG_8550We have food forest packages to choose from,  as seen below.  Besides fruiting plants, these packages include assorted heat-tolerant perennials/annuals, a sweet potato area as well as cover crops for improving the fertility of the soil (perennial peanut, pigeon pea, sunn hemp, red cow pea, buckwheat and comfrey).

Most fruit trees in the packages below will be planted as smaller trees in 3 gal pots but we can upgrade them for larger trees (7-25 gal) at an additional cost).

Small Food Forest – $500

2 papaya, 1 banana, 15 veggies/herbs and cover crop seeding. Planting includes 1/2 cubic yard of compost, 1 cubic yd of mulch and organic fertilizer.

 

Medium Food Forest – $750

2 tropical fruit trees, 2 papaya, 1 banana, sweet potato area, 15 annual/perennial herbs and veggies, and cover crop seeding.  Planting includes 1 cubic yard of compost, 2 cubic yards of mulch, and organic fertilizer.

 

Large Food Forest- $1000

4 tropical fruit trees, 4 papaya, 2 banana,  sweet potato area, 30 perennials/annual herbs and veggies, and cover crop seeding.  Planting includes 1.5 cubic yards of compost, 3 cubic yards of mulch, and organic fertilizer.

 

Extra Large Food Forest- $1500

6 tropical fruit trees, 6 papaya, 3 banana, sweet potato area, 45 perennials/annual veggies and herbs, and cover crop seeding. Planting includes 2 cubic yards of compost, 4 cubic yards of mulch, and organic fertilizer.


Food Forest Sizes



 

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