Do you want local food? Look no further than your own yard. You're already paying to mow and water and feed a lawn, why not eat from it, too? Blueberries, passionflowers, pawpaws and persimmons are delicious, nutritious, and beautiful. We hide abundance in plain sight, giving you a beautiful yard bursting with bounty.
Also known as forest gardens, landscapes inspired by natural forests layer plants through space and time to produce abundant food while reducing water, fertilizer, and labor. A chestnut planted today will feed generations to come; its canopy sheltering and roots connecting verdant layers reaching from black soil to blue sky.
Do you prefer Do-It-Yourself to Done-For-You? We will walk your property with you to turn your Pinterest board into a concrete plan of action. Included is a rough sketch, a list of recommended plants and where to get them, and suggested maintenance to keep your project vibrant and healthy long into the future.
What quality of life do you want? What will it take for your descendants 200 years from now to live with a similar quality of life? We will work with you to plan the future of your property and posterity.
You already mow, blow, and feed your yard; why not eat from it too? If you need a bush, plant a blueberry. If you need a shrub, plant an elderberry. Need a groundcover? Try strawberries or sweet potatoes. And please, for the love of Nature, replace that Bradford pear with a persimmon. Edible landscaping hides food in plain sight; replacing your ornamental landscaping with productive and nourishing alternatives that are as beautiful to you and infinitely more attractive to birds and bees.
Also known as a forest garden, a food forest is a landscape inspired by natural forests, layering plants through space and time to create an abundant environment. 8 major layers include Canopy, Understory, Shrub, Vine, Herbaceous plants, Groundcover, Root, Fungi. After the trees are established, food forests take less maintenance and produce more bounty year over year.
An established food forest will almost certainly produce more than a family can eat in the given season. We offer resources for preserving your abundance to enjoy during the slower winter months and we host community canning parties. We won't sell you Tupperware but we'll definitely fill yours up.
Even with fridge and pantry packed and pickled to the brim, you may still be drowning in tomatoes and cukes. Your bounty can be a boon to other members of your community, so we ask that you donate your surplus to local food banks, shelters, or directly to those in need. We donate through The Bulb, a Charlotte-based non-profit committed to addressing food insecurity in vulnerable neighborhoods. Donating any surplus is included in our Forest Gardening maintenance plan.
Quick vegetables like radishes and lettuce can be ready in only a few weeks. Other vegetables like broccoli and squash thrive in the early phases of a food forest because of the intense sun. Berries produce in their first or second year. Harvest of some herbaceous perennials, like artichokes and asparagus, is best delayed to the second or third year. Expect 2-3 years for fruit trees, including grapes, to start producing or 3-7 years if grown from seed. Most nut trees take 5-7 years to start producing and will continue to produce nuts for up to 300 years! A pair of healthy pecans can feed 12 generations and shelter the 13th, supporting birds and bees and squirrels all the while. The al Badawi olive tree in Bethlehem and the olive tree of Vouves in Greece are still producing fruit today at 4,000 years old; not bad for a pair of quattuormillenarians.
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