I am committed to turning my Sanibel home property into a food forest. People always ask- why? I am particularly interested in Florida native plantings. Neighbors ask- why? One goal for my yard is that every plant be usable to people or animals in some way; as a source of food, shelter, a textile, or companion to other plants. Why you ask? I want to create a way to educate you, and anyone who visits my garden why- and maybe inspire you to do something similar with your yard.
There are several reasons I decided to tackle the ‘food forest’ project. First, I love dirt and I love growing things. I love the creatures that visit my garden for food, water and shelter because of what I grow.
I nurture my connection to God through my stewardship of the earth. I grow intellectually by learning about Botany, Ecology, Wildlife Biology, etc. I am concerned about the quality of food my family consumes.
There are other reasons for creating a food forest. Growing your own food saves money,
significant amounts of money. Residential property is expensive to purchase and maintain! There are property taxes and landscape maintenance costs. Until moving to SW Florida, I had never used a yard maintenance company.. As a master gardener, I’ve always taken great pride in creating and keeping my own gardens. But that was in Southern Maine, and SE Idaho. Keeping a yard neat and tidy in zone 10 is a whole ‘nother world! Maintaining an ornamental property takes A LOT of work, money; and it’s not necessarily an environmentally friendly endeavor.
Creating a food forest using “native” edibles is another goal. It’s good for the planet, good for our health and for my pocketbook. Natives need less water, fertilizer and pesticides than a traditional lawn-scaped home. The more food you grow at home- the less you spend at the grocery. Less fertilizers and pesticides means healthier people and animals- and more habitat for wildlife. The benefits of using a residential property as a food forest far out way any reason to maintain a traditional lawn-scape. Now I need to fulfill another goal- sharing the value of the food forest with others.
My landscape does not look traditional but it is beautiful. When something is different, it attracts attention. Good! When you look at my yard, you see the beauty as well as educational plant markers and placards that share the benefits of planting a food forest. After the first round of plantings for our food forest in January 2014, I purchased a few professional grade plant markers for the fruit trees. They are fantastic, great looking, easy to read, durable…and expensive! To stay within my budget for the rest of the project, I have to find an alternative way to label plantings and make placards.http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/
Once printed, I will use a decoupage technique to affix the sticker to either a high quality stake, or to a flat metal plate I can use as a tag on a tree or bush.
Curious to get feedback from you about the information I have included, and the readability of the font and layout.
Do you prefer a traditional black background, or would you like to see the labels in color? Would appreciate any feedback, and I will post again with a tutorial once I have made the first markers.