Food Forest

A sustainable lifestyle website wouldn’t be complete without a section on the garden. But we’ve called our garden category The Food Forest in honour of the permaculture design concept of the same name. The backyard food forest contains more than food – there’s space to live and play, space for wildlife, and maybe even pets – but inherent in the idea is the sense that the food part of the design is not limited to a small, discrete vegetable plot at the bottom of the garden. This garden is filled with food, for wildlife and people alike.

There are fast growing fruit trees espaliered along fence lines, evergreen Warrigal (New Zealand spinach), interspersed with other understory plants, blueberry bushes in tubs, rambling pumpkins trailing over shrubs and perhaps the front lawn. There may be chickens (chooks, in the Australian venacular) wandering around, or carefully placed in portable chook domes, a la Linda Woodrow. Or perhaps there’s a beehive or frog pond or worm farm, or all four sets of helpful workers inhabiting the garden.

Of course, a sustainable home doesn’t have to base it’s garden design around permaculture, but it’s certainaly a good place to start.

Growing Blueberry Bushes in Your Backyard Food Forest

A cluster of ripe and unripe blueberries still on the bush

Blueberry bushes are relatively easy to grow, as long as you choose the right variety for your climate and provide the right conditions. And, blueberries are delicious, highly nutritious, and provide fruit over a relatively long season, particularly if you mix up some early, medium and late fruiting cultivars. Note: This article is all about…

In Brief: Bee Populations Continue to Decline

According to the UN’s Environmental Agency, the world’s bee population will keep declining without changes to the way we manage them and their habitat. Since 70% of the crop species that feed 90% of the world rely on bees for pollination, that is a significant issue for humans as well as bees. To provide some…

UN Report: Eco-Friendly Farming Can Double Food Production Within 10 Years

“Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agro-ecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live – especially in unfavorable environments,” reports Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. The recent UN report “Agro-ecology and the right to food” states that small-scale farmers can double food…