florida food forest

In 2014, I had the idea of turning our 2.6 acre property into an edible landscape. 

I started our Florida food forest garden while juggling two infants – so money and time was limited.

I set a big dream, and started out small, and learned as I went. 

the key concept of gardening

Plants, animals and insects serve a very important purpose in nature – they create a balance.

No matter how hard you try, you will not win a battle against nature. 

Fertilizers, pesticides and unsustainable practices will make your life harder and your environment less healthy. 

Once you understand and respect nature, you will see how it all works, and only then, will you be a successful gardener.

quick start guide to growing a food forest

I started my garden the easiest, most low-maintenance and low-cost way as possible. So, the key was to plant the right plants and be patient. 

The majority of my landscape was started by seed or cuttings, but after being here for over 5 years now, everything is starting to fill in.

Start in a small, contained areas. I like to build up the edges, using logs, to make a raised bed. Use soil from around your yard, or buy some soil to get started. 

2. Decide what you want to plant by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want it to be an annual or perennial bed? AKA how much time/effort do you want to put into this?
  • What kind of light does the bed receive? Full sun? Shade? Study up on where the sunlight will be in the summer and winter (yes, it changes).

3. You will eventually learn what works best in your certain areas, and which spots are dry/wet or sunny/shady. 

more tips and tricks for starting a food forest

  • Start with the Biomass article to learn the importance of mulching and to gain an appreciation for the weeds in your garden – as they will be a huge help to improve your soil health. 
  • Then read about nitrogen fixing plants, to add some nitrogen (free fertilizer) to your soil. 
  • Once you have an understanding of how you are going to build up your soil, pick out some easy to grow native plants to get your garden started.

Rule one: Be observant.