What is a Food Forest?

Book cover and Three Sisters Deluxe illustration by Felix De Rosen


Imagine a dense, multilayered garden hosting a wide diversity of food-producing plants. The permaculture practitioners who like to create such gardens model them after healthy natural forest environments. That’s where they go looking for clues on how to establish and maintain a healthy plant community.

A food forest can provide a long-lasting food system capable of feeding a family as well as the planet, and the surprise is that such food forests are easy to create at home. If you are looking for a guide, here’s one just published by a local Bay Area horticulturalist who also writes Edible East Bay’s Gardener’s Notebook.

Joshua Burman Thayer’s Food Forests for First Timers is a humble, grassroots offering of gardening teachings. This how-to guide introduces permaculture principles and acquaints readers with each layer of the food forest through simple instructions on best ways to design an organic home garden or landscape. The advice is invaluable for anyone seeking greater self-reliance and resilience while re-envisioning living spaces to provide year-round crop harvests.

Visit this link to Food Forests for First Timers to learn more about both the e-book and paperback versions.