April 13, 2012

Permaculture Forest Garden

Do you know about the Forest Garden at Ness Creek?

It started as a seed of vision in 2010. In the garden, we are exploring how we can implement the permaculture ‘forest garden’ model in our extreme cold climate to build a regenerative, cultivated ecosystem. Our garden has grown to a mid-level of succession as the fruit trees & berry bushes begin to take true shape amongst an ever increasing diversity of perennial herbs, vegetables, & medicinal plants. In 2018, we rebuilt our henhouse & expanded our chicken coop, planted close to a dozen new fruiting trees & shrubs, and added Ness Creek’s first ever beehive to our permaculture system.

The visionary objectives for this space are: 

  • To increase local food security by reducing our dependance on the industrial food system.
  • To increase biodiversity & restore ecological vibrancy to what was once a degraded site.
  • To reduce our contribution to climate change through limiting our need for carbon-based inputs over time
  • To build a living soil that is the foundation for ecosystem & human health.
  • To create northern climate, hardy-stock nursery for sharing plant resources with other gardens.
  • To provide a model to educate & inspire others to take real steps towards food forest creation

Take a Virtual Tour of the Garden in the Video Below!

Forest Gardening is a sustainable food production system designed to mimic the patterns and relationships found in a wild forest ecosystem. Our garden is a place to experiment with and demonstrate permaculture design techniques and perennial polyculture in an extreme cold-climate setting. Polyculture incorporates fruit and nut trees, berry shrubs, herbs, vines, and perennial vegetables, all of which yield foods and medicine valuable to humans while increasing biodiversity, productivity and resilience.

The Forest Garden is home to apple, cherry, and pear trees, numerous berry varieties, an increasing number of medicinal herbs, as well as common garden vegetables. Other elements include various passive water harvesting techniques, a compost system to absorb organic waste from the summer festivals, pollinator habitat, and a walipini-inspired greenhouse. It also incorporates a chicken coop with our beloved laying hens, who convert kitchen waste into eggs and valuable compost. All elements are incorporated into a whole systems design, which is becoming increasingly self-regenerative and productive.

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