The Evolution of a Backyard Food Forest – The First Three Years

This post comes to you from An Arts and Ecology Notebook

 

From a beautiful 23 year old food forest in New Zealand to a permaculture smallholding spanning five acres, we’ve featured an awful lot of properties with beautiful, established perennial vegetable gardens.

While I love looking at what people have achieved, as a decidedly Lazivore gardener myself, I sometimes worry whether these visions of rural idyl are a little intimidating for the would-be forest gardener.

That’s why I love this next video from Dan over at Plant Abundance. He’s already attracted quite a following to his YouTube channel thanks to his friendly gardening tips and his beautiful backyard food forest. But he’s now taken the time to dig through old photos and videos to show how his garden got started in an unloved backyard filled with rubble and dirt. Check it out:

There are many lessons that resonate for me here as someone who has had many, many gardening failures. Among my favorites:

—Incorporate annual vegetable gardens as your perennials get establishe.
—Build flexible structures that you can adapt as your garden evolves.
—But don’t wait too long before removing big trees! (Your younger saplings will thank you for prompt action.)

To check out what the garden looks like now, take a look at this extended tour. It’s pretty impressive stuff, created one small step at a time:

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An Arts & Ecology Notebook, by Cathy Fitzgerald, whose work exists as ongoing research and is continually inspired to create short films, photographic documentation, and writings. While she interacts with foresters, scientists, and communities, she aims to create a sense of a personal possibility, responsibility and engagement in her local environment that also connects to global environmental concerns.

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