Published On: December 15th, 2023
1.6 min read
Koren in her food forest

In the small backyard of my urban Adelaide home, I’m creating a mini forest. An edible one, at that.

This is permaculture food forest-style gardening, in which layers of perennials (plants that live for more than two years) are grown together to create a low-maintenance edible ecosystem.

So far, I’ve planted four fruit trees and plentiful perennial edibles underneath, including asparagus, strawberries, yam daisies and herbs.

And already, just a few months after planting, my mini food forest is looking beautiful and providing for my dinner table daily – while requiring surprisingly little work.

Food forests are also water-hardy, heat-resilient and can be grown in even the smallest of gardens.

To help you create your own, I wrote this story for ABC Everyday, which covers:

  • The seven layers in a traditional food forest, as developed by English horticulturist Robert Hart.
  • How to adapt this theory to be suitable for small urban food forests.
  • How I used a green manure to fertilise and enrich my soil cheaply and organically before planting my food forest.
  • The exact plants I included in my urban food forest.
  • How I stacked the functions of my food forest to make it even more functional.
  • The climate-resilient benefits of food forest gardening.

As our cities become increasingly urbanised, creating vast concrete food deserts, planting a mini food forest is a simple way to grow low-maintenance healthy local food, while cooling and beautifying your own patch.

And the food forest concept works in small urban gardens, tiny courtyards, and even within pots on a balcony. Patch size need not be a barrier to forest gardening.

This story is part of a regular gardening column I write for ABC Everyday, the lifestyle website of Australia’s national broadcaster. You can find my full story archive here.

Share this with your mates

Tell me your thoughts…

One Comment

  1. […] And in that challenging area that falls into deep shade during winter, I planted a mini urban food forest. […]

Leave a Reply

Oh hey, want to subscribe to receive blog updates?