Food Forest Abundance: Helping Families Achieve a Healthy, Sustainable Lifestyle by Installing Gardens and Edible Landscapes

August 13th, 2020 | Posted By: Stephen Douglass | Posted in CSA, Edible Landscapes, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

As our Membership is aware from an earlier post on this very subject, I’m a big proponent of edible landscaping and am in the process of putting together a design and installation option for the Turner Family Farms Membership.

Partnering with Food Forest Abundance to Create Edible Landscapes

I introduced myself to Jim Gale and some other like-minded folks at Foot Forest Abundance, a landscape design firm (among many other things) that specializes in permaculture.  We are currently designing a raised bed system and later perhaps a three-bin compost system using recycled, HDPE (high-density poly ethylene) “lumber.”  This has been a long overdue idea since my beloved great Aunt Jean and her sons started Aeolian Enterprises t/a Wind River Fence,  a firm that manufactures HDPE lumber.

My initial thought is to have a “lumber” raised bed with sufficient depth – one low and one high – the higher one being more ergonomic. For the sake of production capacity, it would be wide enough that you could only reach just past the middle rows from either side.* I haven’t mocked it up yet, but I suspect that’s somewhere in the 42″ to 48″ range.  Length-wise, I’d say 10′ and multiples thereof.
      Important add-ons would be:
  • a low tunnel bow system for both plastic and shade cloth/insect netting with wire lock fastening.  Possibly a more arched bow system where snow loads are a problem.
  • A hose-end-ready irrigation/fertigation system with timer.
       Optional add-ons
  •  A complete rotational/successional crop plan with seeds.
  • Proprietary(?) potting mix (or recipe for it.)
  • cell trays for non-direct-seeded crops
  • thermostatically controlled vents and supplemental heat** where necessary.
  • Grow lighting?
* I got thinking about small suburban lots, especially with fences, and It occurred to me that a corner model might be good but would have to be of a width accessible from just one side.  The bed could be L-shaped and right inside the fence line/property line.
** Supplemental heat could actually be installed under the soil.

All Ideas and Input Is Greatly Appreciated

Later this Fall and in 2021, I’ll be doing a blogpost and video series on Edible Landscaping based on this new project and in the context of my original Edible Landscaping blogpost ideas.  As our Membership well knows, I’m not the activist type, but I do like creating products and systems that benefit the Turner Family Farms Membershp.  That said, I have come to the conclusion that current events demand that we hedge our bets and think seriously about food safety and food security.   For anybody interested in my thoughts on the subject, please check out my articles at Green and Free.  I’m not the greatest writer, but my article on Joel Salatin has some amusing first-hand tales of dealing with “the lunatic farmer.”  The second article about “Decentralizing the Food Chain” was what re-ignited my interest in edible landscaping.

 

Thanks Everyone.

Farmer Steve