Food Forestry or Forest Gardening is a sustainable method of food production inspired by the structure of a forest. By using edible fruit and nut trees and shrubs, berries, perennials, vines, and annuals, forest gardening can create a bounty of fresh food right in your backyard. The idea is to eventually create a self-sustaining and low-maintenance yard that provides food throughout our growing season as well as ambience and beauty. Forest gardening works from the ground up, nurturing the soil and healing our environment. We incorporate many pollinator-attractive plants and native plants when possible to provide food for our native birds and beneficial insects. I believe this is the future of landscaping as lawns become less desirable, more expensive, and overall less sustainable and edible plants and sustainable, healthy environments more so.
Many of us think that our climate does not lend well to Permaculture and food production.
There are actually many varieties of fruits, veggies, herbs, and salad greens that are hardy to our harsh climate and do well despite our short growing season. A few examples are apples, pears, sour cherries, nanking cherries, haskaps, sandcherries, saskatoons, raspberries (see to the right - 2 Raspberry plants I planted the year before last) , strawberries, currants, gooseberries, rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish, chives and lovage. There are also plenty of self-seeding annual plants that will re-seed themselves year after year - I have a near-epidemic amount of Cilantro plants each year all stemming from one Cilantro plant I bought 3 years ago. (It may not have reached near-epidemic levels if I actually enjoyed eating the plant). The point is there are lots of perennial selections and you can still leave areas for your favorite annual veggies like potatoes, carrots, lettuce, beans and peas...