Pilot Production Food Forest
Production pilot Food Forest for a Conservation Association
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
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.
- 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
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.
August 2020 - The food forest is coming into it's own! Berries are full time producers and there's many herbal plants as well.
A raingarden offers the solution to a parking lot’s water overflow problem.
A food forest appears on a steep slope between two parking lots.
Prolific berry and fruit production on terraces provides income and farm status.
A simple technique at farm scale helps a cooperative of farmers boost their productivity.