- Jul 15, 2020
- Temperate (all seasons)
I have been doing a lot of reading about food forests, and I really want to try to create one. This is the area I am thinking of using . This picture was taken at about 10a today, so, as you can see, lots of sun exposure. Although you can't really tell, there is a small pond (that I dug) just to the right, and my drip irrigation ends just to the right of the pond, so I can stretch a few lines out.
The added benefit of using this site is that a few well-placed large evergreens will screen off the last tiny bit of my neighbor's property that I can see.
Pro's: will beautify a pretty ugly hill that is right outside my bedroom window; will screen me from my neighbor; will be easy to access for purposes of harvesting/maintenance; easy access to water; possibility of incorporating the pond (more like a bog right now) into the landscape; rain will flow naturally toward the plants that need it more and the plants will help keep the water from just racing down through the slate and flooding my laundry room.
Con's: the hill is pretty much solid rock and clay and will be a bear to dig into; NOTHING currently grows there naturally, which makes me wonder if nature is trying to tell me something.
My thought is to put some cedars and other big evergreens at the top of the slope (north and northwest of house), to build kind of one side of a paranthesis, then to put in my apple trees and plum trees around the canopy of those, followed by my berry shrubs (and possibly mulberry), with space for later insertion of kiwi and pineapple guava, once the foundation trees get bigger and can act as support for vines. Perennial plants, including veggies beds interspersed with annuals (veggie and flower) in front of that (moving down the slope and toward the house). Part of a food forest is supposed to include root vegetables, but that might be a big ask on that big chunk of rock. I might try putting in some green compost for a few years, to add to the soil layers before I try to dig too deeply.
I am just worried that it will be equivalent of planting a fuschia in the desert up there. It will be asking a lot of native land that has been like a big African savannah for decades. But when I look around at what grows naturally out in the undeveloped areas, it looks like the land should be able to support vegetation.
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