Food Forest Gardens

As Masanobu Fukuoka once said, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

What is Edible Forest Gardening?

Edible forest gardening is not gardening in the forest.  It is gardening like the forest.  It is the art and science of putting plants together in patterns that forge mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden ecosystem that is more than the sum of its parts.

Forest gardeners use the forest as a design metaphor, a model of structure and function, while adapting the design to focus on meeting human needs in their living and working spaces.

Why Grow an Edible Forest Garden?

  • High yields of diverse products such as food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, ‘farmaceuticals’ and fun;
  • A largely self-maintaining garden
  • A healthy ecosystem.

How we garden reflects our worldview. The ultimate goal of forest gardening is not only the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of new ways of seeing, of thinking, and of acting in the world.

Forest gardening helps us take our rightful place as part of nature doing nature’s work, rather than as separate entities intervening in and dominating the natural world.

At its simplest, forest garden design involves choosing what plants to place in your garden in which locations, at which times.

When we design a forest garden, we select plants and animals that will create a food web and guild structure, whether we know it or not.  It behooves us to design these structures consciously so we can maximize our chances of creating a healthy, self-maintaining, high-yield garden.

Source: with ideas from  the two volumes of Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke with Eric Toensmeier.  Thank you for walking the path through the forest garden before us so that we may, too, find our way.