florida food forest

I started our Florida food forest garden in 2014. I was juggling two infants and dreaming of turning our entire property into an edible landscape.

Money and time was limited, so I started out small and learned as I went. 

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

I started my garden the easy, low-maintenance, low-cost and patient way. 

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.

 

Plants, animals and insects serve a very important purpose in nature and they create a balance that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to win in a battle against them. Once you understand how it all works, you will be a successful gardener.

 

quick start guide to growing a food forest

1. 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).

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.