Urban Food Forests

This post is by Heather Thorpe on Food Forests. She will be teaching at a a Food Forest workshop on the 18th May 11am-2.30pm at the Oatlands Community Garden. Please contact Jo Bain for details.


2013 garden

Stage I.
This was the first stage of the forest and the construction of six(6) No Dig beds. We constructed these over the existing lawn to create Zone One. We had extremely great yields from these beds. I made 12 bottles of chutney, 7 of pasta sauce, 5 tomato and passionfruit jam and dehydrated seventy (70) kilos of tomatoes. This was as well as all the tomatoes we ate and gave away. All this from nine (9) bushes. I made my own paprika, an activity well worth the effort. We grew so much food !!

2014 a gard

Stage II
We have constructed six (6) more beds between the original beds during the Winter. We once again used the No Dig method. Why do we use this method? It builds new soil as the beds are in situ compost heaps that you plant into. You create a container to put your plant into and fill it with compost or potting mix. This sustains the plants or seeds until their roots reach the soil. We grew in these beds this Summer but didn’t have as good a yield as the season wasn’t as good as the previous one plus we were spending time doing other things including extending the food forest area..



Stage III
We have extended further . The entire area will be now converted to growing the food forest and all the lawn is going. There will be three (3) fruit trees planted on the southern side of the area to create the canopy level of the forest. The next level will be two(2) blueberries. We wont be planting densely due to our Cool Temperate climatic zone. The fruit trees will be pleached to allow the sunlight to reach the understory plants and the herb beds beyond. The remainder of the forest will be a variety of food and useful plants of varying mid level and understory height. The remaining grass will have beds on it. The area with carpet on it is to be the pathway with a centre feature

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2 thoughts on “Urban Food Forests

  1. Your tomato sounds amazing. What types of tomato bushes did you have and did you pick out the suckers? We had quite a lot of tomatoes from various types of plants and about 6 plants and 2 cherry tomato plants. We Have about 10 kg frozen, made 2 lots of relish and gave a lot away but your yield sounds incredible in comparison.

    Christine Sent from my iPad


    • We grew Grosse Lisse , an old variety but the most reliable and a heavy yielder plus some Roma .
      They were grown in an area that had previously been lawn so there would have been a high level of nutrients plus those added from the no dig.
      cheers Heather

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