What is a Food Forest?
Food Forests are mini ecosystems comprising up to 7 layers of different edible species. The seven layers are canopy (large fruit and nut trees), low tree layer (dwarf fruit trees), shrub layer (currants and berries), herbaceous layer, rhizosphere (root crops), soil surface (ground cover crops) and vertical layer (climbers, vines).
Ideally, every plant within a food forest enhances other plants' production in varying ways, with plants carefully selected to provide delicious food for humans, while creating a mini ecosystem that requires little maintenance and functions independently.
There are over 50 varieties of plants in Curly Community Garden's Food Forest, including numerous native bush tucker plants.
The Food Forest is a "Secret Garden", adding beauty and ambience, where people can enjoy nature. A walk through the forest is also an educational experience, as the names and uses of many of the plants are posted on informational signs. And the forest ecosystem, especially the native species, helps attract many native and beneficial insects to the garden.
The Food Forest has evolved significantly from its original plan and continues to be a work in progress.