Food Forest

What's good for the environment, works to put food on the table, and is nice to look at in your backyard?  That's right, a Food Forest!

I went through a workshop craze at the end of 2013.  On the day of the Solstice I attended this informative workshop on Food Forests, presented by a local business, the Leaf Ninja's.  
I think the day was timely, as this concept will hopefully usher in a new backyard and bring with it much abundance!  

Not only is it a wonderful concept to learn, I think it can give us a new perspective on our health as well.

I won't try to pretend I can teach the subject, but lets just outline this as a "low-maintenance sustainable gardening system based on woodland ecosystems.  It incorporates fruit trees, berry shrubs, herbs, vines, and perennial vegetables to provide food, medicine, and other benefits for humans."  Some examples of food species for our area... Apple trees, Sea Buckthorn, Raspberries, Orach, Hostas, day lilies, artichoke, and white clover.

The goal is to plant species that will support and feed each other-provide the nutrients that each needs, provide effective water management, build a self contained ecosystem.  And provide food to the builder of the food forest!  Contrary to our traditional "plot garden", the goal is that the plants add to the soil and ecosystem and provide a longer harvest, instead of depleting the ground of nutrition and only providing a once a season harvest.  

We plan to start a small area of our backyard this coming season, in the area surrounding our crab apple tree and possibly the goji berries that we planted last year.  It will be a small area to start, and we'll continue our usual veggie garden.  If all goes well, we can continue to transition the rest of the garden over the next few years.  

What does this have to do with our health?  As I was describing the garden to others, I kept saying, "low maintenance, self-sustaining, ecologically sound."  

Is your health low maintenance?  Self sustaining?  Or after finishing the Christmas and holiday season, do you find you run full out and replenish by escaping it all or by going on a holiday? Is there a way to create our life so that every day, or possibly every week, includes activities that replenish or rejuvenate us?  

Perhaps you need to eliminate a few activities from your schedule.  Or add in some self-nurturing ones-daily time in nature or meditation?  We will each have unique activities that feed us, and conversely, activities that drain us.  

I like the Food Forest for many reasons, but probably most of all for making me think about how to make my days more energy rich.  I like the idea that my daily choices can add energy and health to my life.  The idea of walking through my future Food Forest and picking fruit or vegetables for a meal, or herbs for a tea, is a simple one that feels right.  


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