Project

Pilot Production Food Forest

Production pilot Food Forest for a Conservation Association

Project Details

Galiano Conservancy Association
Galiano Island, BC
6a, Cool Summer Mediterranean
68 m
220
924 mm
Richard Walker
Co-Design, Co-Installer, Co-Instruction
Conservation, Food Forest, Hugelkultur, Water Management

Overview

Having recently acquired 150 acres of conservation land, the Galiano Conservancy Association was exploring food production that worked within a conservation framework. In collaboration with Richard Walker, I developed a pilot design that could be expanded into agricultural areas. The clients’ needs were perennial and annual food production; creating a financial surplus for sustaining the forest; and balancing annuals and perennials over the maturation and succession of the food forest.

All photos by Rick Ketcheson

 Challenges

Balancing the conservation mandate with production goals and available labour was a primary challenge. Physically, 3 to 4 months of hot, dry drought condition summers meant water management and increasing water retention of the site were key priorities.

Key Elements

  • Food forest installed in early fall 2015 in a 5-day workshop format
  • Combination of hugelkultur for long-term water storage, and perennials to tap into available groundwater and precipitation during winter rains
  • Wide variety of perennials fruiting from years 1 through 5, including nuts, berries, vines
  • Cash crop of garlic planted in second year to generate financial profit
  • Large (15 x 10 ft) mushroom bed installed  

Further Articles on this Project 

What I learned on Galiano Island Part 1

What I learned on Galiano Island Part 2

What I learned on Galiano Island Part 3

Update

January 2016 -  Plantings have survived ground cover has been planted.

March 2017 - Two month watering drought in Summer of 2016 was weathered due to hugelkultur's providing retained moisture to perennials.