The Era of Edible Forest Gardening has Arrived

(Edible Forest Garden at Lillie House, filled with food, flowers and medicinal and culinary herbs.) Nature is calling us home, and people all over the world feel it, the urge to reconnect with their landscapes in a more meaningful way than the endless struggle against lawn and weeds. And the forest garden – a designed ecosystem filled with ripe fruits, lush vegetables, craft materials and medicine that integrates native plants and wildlife habitat – is the ideal representation of our rightful human relationship with the world, cultivating the wild, working with ecosystems to meet our needs instead of reaping them … Continue reading The Era of Edible Forest Gardening has Arrived

Permaculture Life Design: "Wealth"

(Monarda in our home food forest garden) As “a system for designing human habitats to meet our needs,” Permaculture can be used to improve the function of ANY “structure” we “inhabit,” including invisible structures like economies.  Its basic method is to emulate the processes in nature that make natural systems accumulate life-enhancing energies such as water, fertlility and energy, rather than constantly declining the way most man-made things do.  (A “Forest garden” modelled after a natural ecosystem, to grow more fertile over time.) Those same principles can be used to design our home economies so that our families can grow … Continue reading Permaculture Life Design: "Wealth"

A Forest Garden for Every Occasion

While “Food Forests” or “Forest Gardens” have become something of a gardening fad these days, there’s really nothing new about them at all. In fact, some academic sources have begun calling them “the world’s oldest land use.”   In my opinion, we modern “Forest Gardeners” have a lot to learn from the traditional, slowly-evolved gardens that were once the backbone of cultures around the world. Researchers across many disciplines from Agronomy and economics to ecology and anthropology have delved deeply into the well-known, ancient food forests across the Asian and African tropics (as well as the Amazon, which some researchers … Continue reading A Forest Garden for Every Occasion