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The results of 2+ years of wild homesteading and permaculture

 
gardener
Posts: 1746
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Back in September 2016 my wife and I purchased just under 3 acres of land just outside of Olympia Washington in the South Puget Sound. Our son was not even born yet and our land was mostly just old pasture and lawns. There was a nice cherry tree and a few ornamental areas that had been heavily neglected. Other than the cherry tree the only trees were scattered along the fence line and along the road. Plus there were some large blackberry patches to deal with (around 0.33 acres).

But the land had some things going for it. This land has nice variation in elevation and a seasonal stream flowing through it. Plus, there was the possibility of capturing runoff from the shared dirt road. But between the blackberries and the old pasture there was not much to work with.

After a ton of work the place has really changed. My family has changed to. Today my son is over 2 and running around having a blast and enjoying exploring his world. My daughter who was born just over 2 weeks ago is just starting to explore her world. There is still a lot more work to do but the land has really changed.

It really is amazing what can be accomplished when you work with nature and use permaculture techniques. Here is a walk through of the changes on my homestead over the last 2+ years.

The Hugelkultur Beds



One of the first things I wanted to do to improve the land was to create a privacy buffer between my neighbor and my homestead. Overall, I get along with my neighbor fine but they were used to being able to park on my property, their garbage was always blowing across the road, and their dog was always running around on my land. Plus, I wanted to block summer winds, block the view of the roads/buildings, and control runoff from the driveway.

I also wanted to have a barrier to keep my kids from running into the road and keep deer from coming in.

So I started building my first large hugelkultur bed. You can see the results in the above picture. This hugelkultur bed is approximately 140 feet long and there is a 12 foot gate in the middle of it for utility access. At the gate I built a water collecting feature that captures most of the runoff from the shared dirt road. The water just runs under the gate and down into a mulch basin and then out into my field.

The first year the hugelkultur bed was not protected from deer and part of it got browsed heavily. That part still has much less growth than the rest and I may add a couple new plants next spring to fill it in.

Dealing with deer has been a huge issue for me and I'm just now having it under control. Though just tonight I ran out thinking a deer was in but luckily it was just outside the fence and had not gotten in.



A year after the first hugelkultur bed was built I added another 100 feet to it to finish the privacy buffer along the shared dirt road. This hugelkultur bed was deer fenced from the start and has been doing great overall. There is one section though that is not doing as well and I think it is due to that section getting more intense sun than other parts. I have added some new plants and I think it will fill in soon.

This hugelkultur bed was built a bit taller than the first since it was along the backyard and play area and I wanted it to be even more effective at keeping my kids in while the plants are growing.

Eventually both of these hugelkultur beds will be solid hedgerows growing up to about 25 feet and 7 feet or so thick. Once they reach that point they will be a great privacy screen that should also be able to keep deer out.



Here is another view of the newer hugelkultur bed. I planted native Nootka roses along the outside edge where the deer would come. While the deer will browse the roses this type of rose can easily handle it and will just get denser with browse. It also quickly spreads and is already forming a great low barrier and in the future will form a very thorny and solid barrier from ground level up to around 6 feet. This plus the taller shrubs planted in the middle and the back of the hugelkultur bed plus the trees planted along the backside will form a great barrier once they all reach maturity.

The Backyard



While the land covers 2.86 acres I wanted to have a more traditional backyard that would be kid safe and setup for family and friends to visit. Here you can see how part of it has changed over the last year. The picture also shows the newer hugelkultur bed before I planted it.

The new kitchen garden is visible in the right side of the picture.



Here you can see a bit more of the new kitchen garden and a bit more of how things have changed in the backyard. This area still has a lot of work to do but it is coming along and I will be mulching a lot of it this summer to get ready to plant. But the kitchen garden and the gathering area in the middle of it has really changed things plus I have a new eco-lawn just outside the garden area which my family loves to have picnics on.



As you can see the kitchen garden has a big open area in the middle. Eventually, I will be building an outdoor kitchen in part of it that will also include a rocket oven/stove. But already it is a great area to hangout as a family.

This kitchen garden is also a hugelkultur bed. Each of the 3 beds were dug down first and filled with logs, sod, and soil. The beds were built up to be about 10 inches above ground and 2.5 to 3 feet deep. Overtime, this should result in some great garden beds but the soil is not great at the moment. But the vegetables are growing and I will be posting some updates later on.



Berries are a big priority for me in this backyard area. Here you can see how some Logan berries I got from a friend have really taken off. I have also planted a bunch of raspberries, some blue berries, and some honeyberries and I'm just starting to get some grapes and blackberries established. I will be adding a lot more over the next few years and I can't wait till they are all producing tons of berries!

My son just loves picking berries and I'm sure my daughter will too!



Making this backyard area family friendly has been very important for me. Here you can see the finished sandbox area that today is one of my son's favorite areas. It is next to the large cherry tree and along the newer hugelkultur bed. My whole family loves hanging out in this area.



Here you can see the bench I made and the area under the cherry tree. I just finished mulching this area last winter so I'm still waiting to add more plants which I hope to do next fall and winter. I'm planning on adding a bunch of Pacific waterleaf and redwood sorrel which are both great native perennial vegetables that don't mind the shade. I might also add miners lettuce and woodland strawberries which are also native.

I already have some native evergreen huckleberries planted along one edge of the play area and I will be adding many more berries soon. I have a goal of never running out of berries to pick!

The Front Food Forest and Garden



While I have been working on the backyard I have also been planting up and changing the front yard. In this picture you can see the front garden which is what people first see when they come to visit. They park their cars with this garden right in front of them.

This area is very gravely and was very degraded with not much growing when we moved in. I have added several small hugelkultur beds plus a ton of mulch. It is slowly improving and really starting to fill in. There are 3 trees that are just getting going and several shrubs that are also a bit slow. But this year they are all putting on good growth.

But there is also a lot of herbs in this area and other edibles. I have planted artichokes, lavender, strawberries, rosemary, thyme, oregano, bloody dock, chives and tree collards in this area. Plus, there are some yummy dandelions too!



In the first picture showing the front garden you are looking towards the food forest. Here you can see how it has changed from a front lawn. But I still have grass to remove via sheet-mulching though the plants are doing great.



Here is another view showing how it has changed overtime. This hedgerow runs along the edge of the food forest and is meant to provide privacy and wildlife habitat. It is mostly planted with native plants and the birds just love it. Plus, it is very beautiful to look at with lupines blooming right now and earlier red flower currents and osoberries were all in bloom. Overtime I will be adding many more flowers and a lot more edible plants.



It is also deer fenced. At this point my whole property is since the deer were causing so much damage. I have spent a lot of time on the fencing doing it all myself as cheap as possible. If I had not had to worry about the fence I think I would already be done with this food forest.



Finally, here you can see the established parts of the food forest. It really is filling out nicely and currently there is a dwarf mulberry tree, a mix of native edibles, 2 pawpaws, a cherry tree, a fig, and 3 goumi berries plus a lot of strawberries and a evergreen huckleberry. Oh, I forgot I also just added 2 raspberry patches this last winter.

I can't wait to finish getting this food forest planted. We get tons of birds visiting it already and my son loves to hangout in it.

Always More to Do



One big lesson I have learned is to have a spot to keep supplies/materials for future projects. Here you can see one of 2 "utility yards" that I keep. Today I was out there getting tape removed from a bunch of cardboard for more sheet mulching plus I brought in another pickup truck load of wood chips. I also have a ton of logs that I use for marking the boundaries of paths and building new hugelkultur beds.

I'm always collecting these sort of things so that when I have time to work on a project I always have what I need.

I highly recommend designating an area on your own homestead to store materials for projects. If possible have it near your driveway. Mine is right next to my parking area.



It has been a lot of work to get to this point but it is worth it. The above picture shows the view from my front window and back slider. These views will get even more beautiful overtime as I continue to work on my homestead.

Creating this sort of homestead is what Wild Homesteading is all about. I use tried and proven permaculture methods plus my own ecological knowledge as a restoration ecologist to achieve these results. Not everything has worked out but I'm making steady progress. Each year the land just gets more abundant and more filled with life.

This really is an amazing place to raise a family and just to live.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I'm happy to answer any questions. But also check out my website (see my sig) where I make posts weekly going over all the methods/techniques I have used on my own homestead.

Thank you!
 
pollinator
Posts: 350
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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Wow that is a magnificent transformation!!! Excellent work Daron! And that while getting kids, very impressive. Do you get people that have seen this and want to do something similar? The best to you and your family!
 
gardener
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Location: Maine, zone 5
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Wow Daron, at this rate just imagine what it will look like in 20+ years!!!
 
pollinator
Posts: 8529
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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This property is going to pay you back for years to come. I'm assuming your most expensive project was fencing. Is that correct?

I'm guessing that many of the other things took a lot of work but because you did it yourself, your dollar outlay wasn't huge. Outside of the cost of the property, do you have an estimate of how much you have spent?

I hope you keep this thread going with more pictures. In a few years, the before and after will be even more dramatic.
 
Daron Williams
gardener
Posts: 1746
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Hugo - Thank you! My wife and the grandparents were big help when it came to giving me time to do the work. But my son also loves to hangout with me while I work. People seem impressed but I think in general they don't know where to start when it comes to their own place. That is one reason why I started my site Wild Homesteading.

Greg - Thank you! I'm really excited to see what it looks like in 20 years too! But I hope that even in another 2 years it will look a lot different!

Dale - Thank you! Yeah, the fence was the most expensive part but I did have some soil brought in and I have purchased plants each year. Though I have also salvaged a lot of plants and used live stakes too. The native plants I buy I get from wholesale dealers so they are fairly cheap. I need to setup my own mini-nursery to help propagate my own plants.

I'm not sure how much I have spent in total... likely in the $3k range for everything. Though with the recent chainlink fence I put up to designate the backyard area it might be closer to $4k. My Dad and I put up the chainlink fence so at least we did not have to pay for labor. Just the cost of pizza!

I will post some more pictures soon either here or in a new thread. I might make a thread all about the kitchen garden. Once the food forest is fully mulched I will post some new ones to show the full extent of it.

Thanks all!
 
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Beautiful!  Excellent clean design to show that permaculture doesn't need to be a mess!
 
Daron Williams
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Beautiful!  Excellent clean design to show that permaculture doesn't need to be a mess!



Thank you! my zone 1 area that covers the backyard is designed to be a permaculture space that the average suburban person would find attractive and appealing. Basically it is my area to promote permaculture in a way that could work for the average person.

But I'm careful to still stay true to permaculture values.

The backyard area will change a lot over the next couple years. If all goes well I will setup a subsurface treatment wetland for my septic system. I'm also going to be planting more fruit trees and berry bushes. Plus a bunch of perennial vegetables and flowers.

I will also be adding a swing set and a naturescape play area to extend the existing play area.

Later I will also add a small fire pit gathering area just outside the backyard area that will overlook a future pond and wetland area.

In the long run I will be expanding out of the backyard area and establishing a large staple crop garden area plus adding a 100 to 150 fruit trees and setting up a native food forest plus a system of ponds.

Lot to do!
 
pollinator
Posts: 244
Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
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Great tour of your place, Daron, and fantastic work! I agree with Ludie about the "neat and natural" look - it's great when permaculture is also beautiful!

And a reminder to us all as we progress on our permaculture projects to meticulously take good before and after photos like you have here! We can go green in the face trying to explain what permaculture is, how it works and what the results are, and people still might not really get it, but before and after photos everyone understands!! Thanks for doing such a good job for the team!
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Did the place come with good quality buildings? Will your work on them be featured here as well?

$4,000 does not sound like very much. I've seen what that buys when you call in a landscaping crew. Nothing like what you've accomplished. Of course you're getting paid over time. A wage that's difficult to calculate but easy to see.

Does your work require you to have an area where you can always heel in plants that are rescued? Seems that you are perfectly positioned to operate a salvage nursery.

I'm in the demolition business, and I've had a few people that gather large quantities of plants that would otherwise be destroyed. They prune and water, waiting for the right customer. They do run the risk of moving diseases around, but so does everyone who swaps plants.

I think I know what a restoration ecologist does, but you probably have a more accurate idea of it than me.
 
Daron Williams
gardener
Posts: 1746
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Dave de Basque wrote:Great tour of your place, Daron, and fantastic work! I agree with Ludie about the "neat and natural" look - it's great when permaculture is also beautiful!

And a reminder to us all as we progress on our permaculture projects to meticulously take good before and after photos like you have here! We can go green in the face trying to explain what permaculture is, how it works and what the results are, and people still might not really get it, but before and after photos everyone understands!! Thanks for doing such a good job for the team!



Thank you! I wish I had taken some more before pictures. As I keep working I'm going to take some new before pictures that I hope will make it easier to see the progress.
 
Daron Williams
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Did the place come with good quality buildings? Will your work on them be featured here as well?

$4,000 does not sound like very much. I've seen what that buys when you call in a landscaping crew. Nothing like what you've accomplished. Of course you're getting paid over time. A wage that's difficult to calculate but easy to see.

Does your work require you to have an area where you can always heel in plants that are rescued? Seems that you are perfectly positioned to operate a salvage nursery.

I'm in the demolition business, and I've had a few people that gather large quantities of plants that would otherwise be destroyed. They prune and water, waiting for the right customer. They do run the risk of moving diseases around, but so does everyone who swaps plants.

I think I know what a restoration ecologist does, but you probably have a more accurate idea of it than me.



The house is fine but nothing fancy. Built in 1964 and improved recently (wiring and some cosmetic changes plus new insulation in the attic). In the long run we will be building a new large shed/shop and a new small house that will serve as a guest house and office for now. In the long run we may "retire" there once our kids grow up.

Generally I have been able to just put the plants in right away though I have heeled in plants. I almost always have a large pile of wood chips available which generally work well for heeling in plants. I really want to setup my own mini-nursery just to support my own property. It would save me a lot of money in the long run given how much more land I still need to work on.

For my restoration work I tend to just work with nurseries that can store the plants in coolers and only bring out enough plants each day as needed. My restoration sites tend to be too isolated for other options though I have had trenches dug and the plants heeled in when needed. But an average planting can be 10k plants so I tend to spread it out a bit.

I manage the restoration program for a local non-profit. That means that I design and implement restoration projects on properties owned by the non-profit. I'm the only staff member working on restoration so I have to hire contractors for most of the implementation work. Currently, I'm managing restoration on 3 properties covering around 150 acres though the work is focused on about 50 of those acres with the most intensive work happening on about 20 acres.

I volunteer with a plant salvage group that I have hired a few times. They go to properties that are being developed and salvage native plants. The group lets me join their salvage events and take home as many plants as I want. I also use these events to salvage wood for hugelkultur beds and other projects.
 
pollinator
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Thank-you Daron for yet another fantastic post.  Your property is already incredibly beautiful and is an idyllic setting to raise a family.  When I was 4 I lived on a property that had a huge garden, grapes, raspberries and blackberries, plumbs, cherries, apples and lots of space and it really influenced me to this day.  I think you're giving your kids one of the best gifts possible.

As far as the work you've done, it's very inspirational.  What has your neighbour's reaction been to the loss of parking and the hugelkulture?
 
Daron Williams
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Timothy Markus wrote:Thank-you Daron for yet another fantastic post.  Your property is already incredibly beautiful and is an idyllic setting to raise a family.  When I was 4 I lived on a property that had a huge garden, grapes, raspberries and blackberries, plumbs, cherries, apples and lots of space and it really influenced me to this day.  I think you're giving your kids one of the best gifts possible.

As far as the work you've done, it's very inspirational.  What has your neighbour's reaction been to the loss of parking and the hugelkulture?



Thank you! Yeah, my son loves it so far and I can't wait for the plants to all grow. I have 3 grape vines planted but they need more time to grow. Hopefully we will get fruit from fruit trees soon while my kids are still young. It will be fun to introduce my daughter to the berries as she gets older. But she won't be able to eat them for a bit still.

At first the neighbors did not like losing the parking space. But now they love the hedgerows and have told me more than once they really enjoy seeing it. They take pics of the flowers and walk along it a lot.
 
pollinator
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Love the idea of a utility yard!
 
pollinator
Posts: 219
Location: Ozarks
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Very nice. Looks like a good model for suburbia even though it looks like you're a bit further out in the country. Nothing looks out of place against the backdrop of the nice house
 
gardener
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More photos, please!  We'd love to see a mid-summer update.

 
Daron Williams
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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I will try to get some more pictures--been a busy summer but here is a picture I took this morning looking out towards Mount Rainier over my new (built this year) kitchen garden. I just got 40 cubic yards of free woodchips delivered from my local county so I got a lot of mulching to do and a bunch of plants to plant come fall/winter/spring. Things are going to be changing a lot! I can't wait!
wildhometead-morning.jpg
[Thumbnail for wildhometead-morning.jpg]
 
Daron Williams
gardener
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I have been meaning to share this update for a while now. Soon after buying my homestead I decided to get a willow patch established within a wetland buffer area that stays fairly wet. The first year or so the deer kept the willows from doing great. But now that I have a deer fence the willows are really taking off. They are starting to close their canopies and I'm excited to see what they do next year!

Eventually, I plan to harvest willows for various projects and for making willow water. I will also be getting more willows established using cuttings from this patch in other areas around my property. The birds already love this patch of willows and I'm hoping this patch becomes an area where birds will nest once the willows grow a bit.
willow-patch-after.jpg
[Thumbnail for willow-patch-after.jpg]
Willows doing great
willow-patch-before.jpg
[Thumbnail for willow-patch-before.jpg]
Before the willows
 
Daron Williams
gardener
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Attached is a more recent picture of my new front food forest. When I made the earlier posts the middle area was still all lawn grass. I had a few plants planted and spot mulch around them but most of the previous work had focused on creating the outside hedgerow that you can see growing on the edges.

This food forest is interesting in that I'm focusing a lot on native edible plants and native plants in general. Though I still have a nice mix of non-native edibles. Here is a list from memory so I might be missing some:

Native Plants
- Red Flower Currant (edible currants but very seedy, but the flowers can be steeped in cold water to make a nice sweet drink. Hummingbirds love the red flowers)
- Osoberry aka Indian Plum (edible but hard to harvest before the birds get them--one of the first plants to leaf out in the spring and also gets nice white flowers)
- Black Hawthorn (native hawthron--edible after prep though it has not produced yet)
- Black Twinberry (yellow flowers that hummingbirds like and berries that other birds enjoy)
- Red Stem Ceanothus (nice white flowers and also a nitrogen fixer)
- Cascara (native, medicinal tree but mostly planted for the birds)
- Shore Pine (evergreen shelter for birds and the tallest element in the food forest--could harvest the sap, young needles, and seeds)
- Goatsbeard (nice native herbaceous plant--ornamental)
- Red Elderberry (native, mostly for birds)
- Douglas Maple (planted for biomass--fall leaves and potentially coppicing)
- Sitka Alder (planted for nitrogen fixing and for biomass through leaves and coppicing)
- Fringecup (nice native herbaceous plant--ornamental)
- Sword Fern (not really edible but has some uses such as helping to moderate stinging nettle stings)
- Pacific Waterleaf (great native vegetable that loves shade and spreads)
- Woodland Strawberry (native shade tolerant strawberry)
- Trailing Blackberry (the one native blackberry in my area)
- Riverbank Lupine (native nitrogen fixing flower)
- Bigleaf Lupine (another native nitrogen fixing flower)
- Pacific Bleeding Heart (shade tolerant native flower--ornamental)
- Soapberries aka Buffloberries (native nitrogen fixing and edible--though they are not doing great. I'm hoping they do better next year after getting established)
- Evergreen Huckleberries (slow growing but doing good)
- Beaked Hazelnuts (getting established but doing good)
- Mock Orange (not edible but really nice smelling white flowers)

Non-Native Plants
- Strawberry Cultivars (from my parents place, they replace theirs on a regular cycle so I get the plants--I'm already getting great harvests from them and they are spreading!)
- Goumi Berries (2 and I may add more--good tasting once fully ripe, plus nitrogen fixing)
- Pawpaws (2 and doing good though started small)
- Fig Tree (growing a lot this year and I should get my first harvest!)
- Sweet Cherry Tree (New tree, still small but growing--semi-dwarf so will get decent size but not huge)
- Cherry Shrub (Doing okay but not great, I'm considering cutting it down--it is not grafted--and seeing if it re-sprouts, the nursery did not do a good job pruning it...tried to make it look like a tree when this variety is meant to grow as a shrub even in commercial operations...)
- California Lilac (3 of them that were planted by the previous owners, I transplanted them and they are doing great. Nitrogen fixing evergreen shrub native to California with nice blue flowers that bumblebees just love--good winter shelter for birds)
- Red Raspberries (just getting established, should be fun once they get going--got planted late)
- Dwarf Mulberry (will only get to about 6 feet in height, good tasting)
- Potatoes (volunteer and planted--all doing good and got one harvest already--growing in wood chips with no watering)
- Korean Lilac (nice flowers with a very nice fragrance--planted for ornamental reasons and makes a nice addition)
- daffodils (I love these flowers and I'm adding more to my homestead every fall--nice splash of color after a wet and grey western WA winter)
- Japanese Maple (Was here when we bought the place so I left it--nice little tree)
- Strawberry Tree (I really like these trees and this one is slowly growing--supposed to be edible but kinda meh in taste. Good evergreen cover for birds once it gets bigger)
- Sunflowers (stuck the seeds in for fun this year)
- Mixed Ornamentals (from the previous owners, I moved them to the hedgerows and they are doing good filling in some gaps)

This year I'm going to be adding a bunch of new plants to fill in the middle area. The focus will be on native perennial vegetables plus some new shrubs and potentially some non-native perennial vegetables. The following plants are the ones I'm considering but I have not narrowed it down yet. I wish I could get them all but that would be too expensive. Though most of the native perennial vegetables will self-seed and spread which will be great. Some of these plants are also going to be added to my kitchen garden.

New Native Perennial Vegetables for the Food Forest
- Henderson's Checkermallow (very nice dark green leaves with pink flowers that look a lot like hollyhocks--supports a number of endangered species and also tastes very good. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and are very mild and the flowers are also edible)
- Dwarf Checkermallow (same as the Henderson's but smaller--also endangered in the wild. Might limit this one to my kitchen garden since it is smaller and just grow Henderson's in the food forest where it would have more room)
- Prairie (early blue) violet (edible leaves and flowers, evergreen and will also spread)
- Nodding onion (native onion, edible corm, leaves and flowers)
- Hooker's onion (same as nodding but different flowers and flowers at a different time)
- Yarrow (good old yarrow!)
- Deltoid Balsamroot (great sunflower looking plant with edible shoots, young leaves, seeds and big edible tap roots)

As I get more shade from the trees and shrubs I will also add in more Pacific waterleaf plus some woodland sorrell and miners lettuce.

But I'm also planning on adding more non-native food plants. Currently these are the ones I'm considering:

New Non-Native Food Plants for the Food Forest
- Alpine strawberries (my son loves the small strawberries from these)
- More Strawberry Cultivars (I get more from my parents every year and they need to go somewhere!)
- Good King Henry (Fun perennial vegetable that I want to try out--might order a bunch of plugs to plant this fall)
- Kosmic Kale (growing great in the garden and I thought I would add some to the food forest)
- Walking Onions (Been wanting to try these out and there is one area in the food forest they would fit well)
- Rhubarb (I don't have any on my homestead so I thought I would add 2 plants this year)
- More Edible Shrubs (3-6 new edible shrubs, not sure what yet... perhaps more Goumis, or a silverberry, or perhaps some honeyberries... might add some native mountain huckleberries instead... decisions to make!)

Once these plants are all added I will continue to expand this food forest. This front area is going to be kept fairly open in the middle since this is what our front window looks out into. It is also what people walk through when they come to visit. Because of the high amount of traffic this area gets I have kept the paths fairly wide. One of our sheds is also at the end of this food forest and I'm often walking my bike or pushing a stroller through the food forest. The wide paths help a lot with this. Plus the shed is used for storage and it is easier to get things in and out of the shed and to the house with wide paths.

Overtime this food forest will be expanded north and along the side of the house. This will connect it to other growing areas around the house but in the north area I will be planting a number of large fruit trees to make a more closed in and dense food forest that will feel much more like a mature forest. The mix of dense hedgerows, open space with scattered trees and a lot of flowers, and then a dense forest will be great for wildlife and create a really nice area for family walks and for visitors to explore.

Lot to do over the next few years but each year I make progress and just earlier this year the area was still mostly grass. Now it is all mulched and ready to be planted this fall/winter and into the spring. I should add that none of this food forest is watered.

Next summer I should have some really great pictures of the food forest growing and filling in.
front-food-forest-update.jpg
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Daron Williams
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Just to add to my last post... currently the food forest has 40ish different species of plants in it! After I add the new plants this fall/winter it should be up to over 50!

I love having all this diversity and the local wildlife seems to be enjoying it too! I get tons of birds here including some birds that are normally found in forests. So at least the birds think it is a forest!
 
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Daron Williams wrote:Just to add to my last post... currently the food forest has 40ish different species of plants in it! After I add the new plants this fall/winter it should be up to over 50!

I love having all this diversity and the local wildlife seems to be enjoying it too! I get tons of birds here including some birds that are normally found in forests. So at least the birds think it is a forest!



Daron, you inspire me so much! Thanks for taking the time to share all of this with us!

 
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Beautiful! Thanks for posting! These reports are really encouraging for me as I'm just beginning my major project!
 
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