Food Forests: How To Plan a Family-Friendly Forest Garden

The ingredients are simple: plants, soil, seeds, sun, a sprinkle of rain, a bit of mulch, and a piece of land (it needn’t be large: your backyard – or even a portion of it – will do.)

The result? A magical food forest of abundance that will sustain your family in body, mind and spirit, for all the years of their childhood and beyond.

Food forests are – pardon the pun – a fast-growing trend all over the world. Let’s take a closer look at why so many homeowners are choosing to turn their lawn into a food forest, why this approach to landscape is especially good for kids, and how to get one growing in your backyard.

What Is a Food Forest?

A food forest, or forest garden, is edible landscaping designed using the principles of permaculture.

Why Plant A Backyard Forest Garden?

Study after study has shown that kids need time in nature. But sadly, today’s children spend less time outdoors in natural settings than ever before. “Nature deficit disorder” is taking its toll in skyrocketing levels of childhood depression, anxiety, obesity, attention difficulties, and other physical and mental disorders.

Planning Your Family Friendly Food Forest

Planning is the first, crucial step towards a successful food forest. You can plan a food forest any time of the year. Many perennials can be planted in late summer or early fall, for a head start on next year’s growing season. Or, lay out your beds this fall and plant in the spring.

Safety Matters

Safety is always a primary concern when designing child-friendly spaces. Deciding what is safe and what isn’t is often a matter of considering the age of your children and potential guests, as well as the level of supervision you expect to provide.

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