edible forest garden

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Quick Vertical Garden for Strawberries

An old wine case and a waxed paper bag become home to twelve new strawberry cuttings, pruned from runners in the garden.

#DIY #upcycle #vertical gardening #container gardening #strawberries #edible landscaping #gif

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Making Green Juice With Burdock, Chickweed & Dandelions

Every morning I forage for wild edible plants in my area, an make a Jar of juice. I have been moving in a direction of Clean eating. I hope to make a few videos on some of the foods I enjoy the most foraging for.

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#Edible Forest Gardening 101

An “herb spiral” garden accommodates for the unique needs of most culinary herbs. Made of stone, cement, brick–or another material with a high heat capacity–the spiral-shaped structure functions to create a series of different microclimates and drainage conditions.

  • Herbs that prefer dry conditions are planted near the top, where drainage is the best (ie. Thyme).
  • Herbs and other plants that prefer hot conditions are planted near the walls, where they take advantage of radiating heat at night (ie. Rosemary).
  • Herbs that prefer sheltered conditions are planted lower on the structure, where they are sheltered from prevailing winds (ie. Dill).
  • Herbs that prefer cool conditions are planted low on the side of the structure that receives less sunlight (ie. Chervil)
  • Herbs that prefer wet conditions are planted near the base of the spiral, to where the water drains (ie. Mint).

Right now, my herb spiral contains this baffling array or plants:

Mint (Moroccan, Spearmint, Chocolate, Garden, Water), Thyme (Lemon, Lemon Variegated, Lavender, English), Sage/Salvia (Italian, Purple), Chives (Garden, Chinese, Garlic, and Round-Headed Leek) Curry Plant, Lavender, Rosemary, Tarragon, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chervil, Sorrel, Black Cumin, and Coriander.

DIY herb spiral (steps):

#herb spiral #DIY #permaculture #edible landscaping #raised beds #herbs

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Gooseberries, currants, and more (Ribes sp.) ripening

All the Ribes species over in berryland seem to be having a fine season - some won’t crop until next year, but I’ve managed to cram a number of species into the landscape.

Their shade-tolerance will be an asset as the surrounding trees begin to form a canopy.

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The Strawberry Snail: Bird Netted

I left twice as many strawberry plants scattered around the forest garden without protection, but put a bird net over the strawberry snail garden. They get their fruit, and I make sure I get mine.

It’s easiest to do so on this little spiral raised bed, as opposed to covering the whole “forest floor” where the rest of the berries are located.

Bees can come in and out to pollinate any remaining flowers, and I make sure to check the net at least once a day in case anyone manages to get trapped in it.

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Beach Plums (Prunus maritima)

Submitted by d-tricky

I’ve been meaning to submit these photos to you for quite a while since a couple of weeks ago there was a lot of plum talk, and I thought you might not have heard of this species before, as I hadn’t until this Summer. This is Prunus maritima, otherwise known as the Beach Plum.

These dense clusters of shrubs were right on the dunes some 300 feet (about 90 meters) away from the Atlantic Ocean [in the United States]. They ripen from August to early September and since I am in the most Southern part of their range they ripen on the earlier side and were quite tasty.

They are tart and sweet and only very slightly bitter comparable to a cranberry (although not nearly as bitter in my personal opinion). I think it all comes down to the individual fruit where some are very sweet with almost no bitter taste, and some are more bitter with a more tart taste.

Either way I was eating them for a week and burying the pits in the dunes.

The most striking thing about these plants though in my opinion is the large spectrum of colors the plums can be, varying from almost a deep purplish pink to purple to every deep shade of indigo and blue that there is.

Also, there was a large female black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) roughly the size of my hand (no exaggerations whatsoever) guarding the plums. I didn’t see any insects any where close to the plums except for a few very small flies that were already consumed in Ms. Spiders web.

These fruits were untouched and perfect. All of the photos were taken on August 10th, except for the photo of the Ocean which was taken the day before. This is about three hours from where I live.

In short, Beach Plums are delicious!


I’ve heard of the species before, but never looked in to it in depth! Thanks so much for submitting. I hope you saved some seeds!

All submitted content is tagged #biodiverseeders, and I always welcome well-written submissions like this.

More on foraging, plums, and Prunus.

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Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) Plants

Not to be confused with the unrelated North American invasive Ohio Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is also known as Sandthorn, Sallowthorn, or Seaberry.

The bright orange berries of this plant contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and have been studied for medicinal applications that range from fighting tumours to regenerating tissues. They have been called both a ‘superfood’ and a 'delicacy.’

Being thorny, they are excellent for making a wildlife-proof hedge. They will spread laterally, forming clonal patches.

Hippophae species also have a bacterial symbiont in their root nodules (pictured above), which fixes atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. They can handle being near salt water, and extremes of moisture and dryness.

Since the plants are dioecious (male and female parts are on different plants), I am shipping them in lots of 5 and 10 so the odds are higher you will have both sexes.

Sea Buckthorns are regarded as a problem in Southern Alberta, Canada, Australia, and in Northern Ireland (although there is some dispute as to whether or not they are categorically invasive). I will likely not be able to ship these to place with tight biosecurity, like Australia, New Zealand, Hawai’i, or California.

Be cautious about introducing it to your biome, and if you are unsure, don’t plant it.          

Up in my shop → ebay / etsy 

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4/6 KINDS OF THYME IN THE HERB SPIRAL
  • Thymus ‘Doone Valley’
  • Thymus citriodorus (Lemon Thyme)
  • Thymus citriodorus 'Variegata’ (Variegated Lemon Thyme)
  • Thymus pulegioides 'Foxley’ (Foxley Broad-Leaved Thyme)

Not pictured:

  • Thymus vulgaris (Garden Thyme)
  • Thymus vulgaris (German Thyme)

Hardy Kiwi (Actinidia arguta)

The kiwi that many of us associate with New Zealand, Actinidia deliciosa, is one of several kiwi species native to China, Japan, and Siberia.

The hardy kiwi vine, pictured above, yields a much smaller, hairless version of the familiar fruit, while tolerating temperatures of -35˚C.

These vines are normally dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate vines: I’m working with a cultivar called ‘Issai,’ which is self-fertile.

Apparently, the vines smell like catnip, so cats are prone to digging them up and destroying them.

A single vine produces 20-45 kilograms of fruit in a season, growing up to 6 metres in a year. For this reason, they are being investigated as a potential invasive species in parts of North America.

If kept in cultivation, they are a fantastically-productive fruiting vine for Northern gardeners.

The decision to line all of the garden paths with strawberries is proving to be both a beautiful and productive one.

They really seem to thrive in a wood chip mulch, and hold down any other competitors: they’re sort of my superstar groundcover plant in this edible forest garden, owing to how fast they can colonise and area and form a dense mat.

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I did not know Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) was nitrogen-fixing (as it’s not a legume), but lo-and-behold, I was moving some of my plants when I spotted an abundance of rhizobia colonies!

I looked it up, and sure enough, the Hippophae species have a bacterial symbiont in their root nodules.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, with them being a superfood and all.

Temperate-Zone Forest Gardens

Forest gardens have been a source of food security in the tropics for at least 10,000 years: while the Neolithic Revolution fostered a turn towards grain-based agricultural subsistence in some parts of the world, in others, agroforestry-style land management flourished.

While forest gardening is a form of land use that is relatively new to the temperate zone, it is certainly possible here: it just has to be tweaked a bit to suit the bioregion in which is it being attempted, introduce species from a wider geographic range, install more infrastructure (greenhouses, etc.), and account for both shorter growing seasons and lower temperatures.

I firmly believe – and this is from experience – that one does not need to move to Costa Rica to make this sort of cultivation a reality, and I would like to spend more time showing the colder side of permacultural design. I started my first edible landscape project when I was 19, and living in zone 3 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; this was years before I ever heard the word “permaculture.”

I would love to see more temperate-zone forest gardens. If you know of any projects taking place in more marginal climates, please let me know so I can share them! I am particularly interested in USDA zone 8 and lower.

#forest gardening #edible landscaping #permaculture
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Plug Plants - Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus)

Hibiscus syriacus is an Asian species of Hibiscus, hardy in USDA zones 5 and up.

Also called ‘Rose of Sharon,’ these late Summer-blooming shrubs produce abundant showy flowers, beloved of bees.

The leaves and flowers are edible, and both have been used for centuries in Korea as an herbal tea.

This listing is for a single plug plant, which is the seedling offspring of my parent plant (pictured above). Seeds were planted last Autumn and stratified outdoors, germinating this Spring. Plants have had one season of growth, and will flower after two more.

The colour is not a guarantee: these were likely pollinated by the white and pink plants on my street, so their genetics may show some deviation from the colouring pictured above. It’s half the fun of planting seeds!

H. syriacus can be invasive in warmer areas: check your import restrictions before purchasing.

Plants are ready to ship in the second week of September.   

In my etsy store

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How crazy is it that Lidl just has bare-root mass-produced fruit trees in boxes? I’m always on the lookout for cheap trees of classic cultivars, but it’s getting ridiculous. This kind of thing must be killing greenhouses.

These were 39 kroner each, which is about $7.50 CAD. I nabbed a “Stanley” plum (Prunus domestica), which is an extra-sweet freestone plum that is used for prune production, and a “Redhaven” peach (Prunus persica), which is a late-blooming peach that is thus more likely to fruit in Northerly climes like mine.