Monday, June 4, 2012

Our Food Forest is Coming into its Own

When we first started the Funny Farm we brought with us many plants from our former community garden that became the beginning of our food forest. Louisiana Purple fig, nanking cherry, pomegranate, apples, blackberries, bay laurel. and a host of herbaceous perennials ringed the perimeter of the front garden. Each of the last 4 years we have continued to add new trees, shrubs, vines, tubers and herbs either by propagating what we have or purchasing from local growers.

The first year we moved some figs to new locations and propagated more by layering.

3 years ago we added blueberries and sunchokes. Next were the plums and additional apples. This past year we planted persimmons, asian pears, apricots, more blueberries, grapes, rhubarb, and Tiawanese sour oranges. We dug up some volunteer nanking cherry seedlings and put them in pots to grow out so we can add more of these favorites to the forest.

Comfrey in bloom
I am taking a year long herbal medicine workshop now so we have begun to add more perennial medicinal plants into the mix. Valerian, angelica, feverfew and comfrey are happily growing now. I have goji berry seedlings growing in pots that i plan to plant in our hugulkultur bed. (more on this experiment later). I have learned that I have lots and lots of medicine already growing throughout the garden. We have been harvesting and making medicine from them regularly.

Blueberries
This spring the nanking cherry produced a bountiful harvest. We are now harvesting some gigantic precocious Louisiana Purple figs that weigh 1/4 lb. each are are so delicious. We have been enjoying daily treats of blueberries and yogurt for the first time this year. The blackberries are just beginning to ripen. Our apples are still a year or 2 away from production, however there are a few fruits on one of the trees that we hope to be eating this summer. The plums have grown well and may start to produce next year if the weather cooperates. These days we are thankful for any harvest we are blessed with.
Pomegranate in bloom
 Now will need to take a step back and assess the garden to see what and where we can add more multi-purpose plants to increase our yields from this wonderful thing called a food forest.

1 comment:

I wanna be Harry Choe said...

Duane,

What a great inspiration! My family has been enjoying the first Blueberries of the year and I will have to look into the Purple Figs, they look wonderful. I am envious of your permaculture model and hope that my one acre plot will be as productive someday!!

Mark