When we still owned our farm we not only had an amazing garden and livestock but an abundance of wild edible plants growing on the land. Since my spinal cord injury the idea of wrestling a 130 lb. lamb makes me cringe but I still want to use the land we have to expand the sources of food I grow. And edible landscaping can be very attractive.
Edible Landscaping provides food and it can be absolutely beautiful!
Chickens, ducks, and rabbits are great for eggs and food and my garden provides a lot of the produce we eat. But I want to turn the rest of the property into productive space. So I’m working on creating edible landscaping everywhere I can.
Edible landscaping is simply growing food-producing plants in residential landscapes. Fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, and other ornamental plants are planted in aesthetically pleasing designs. In many cases edible landscaping totally replaces non-food bearing landscaping.
In addition to providing a variety of foods for my family and friends, our local food pantry accepts donations of fruits, berries, and vegetables. The extras I produce can help out a large number of people I will probably never even meet.
Additionally, edible landscaping attracts bees which are critical to successful gardening everywhere on the property. And the butterflies are a welcome sight. I know I’ll end up sharing with our deer, rabbits, foxes, and birds for some of the produce but I plan to grow enough that a midnight snack for some hungry critter won’t be a problem.
I’m starting over when it comes to edible landscaping.
I shot myself in the foot when we first moved here. There were wild blackberries growing in several places on the property. These thorny vines can quickly take over so our sons worked diligently on getting rid of them for me. Now I’m going to re-introduce them in a specific area and work, not on eradicating them completely, but keeping them where I want them.
We also had several patches of wild asparagus but one grew next to our septic field and I located our pet cemetery on the edge of another so we can’t use them. I’m going to replant asparagus in more food friendly areas.
Creating my edible landscape is going to take patience which is good for me. I tend to pray, “God, please give me patience….now!” I have to plan which trees and plants I will actually use and then find the ideal location for sun and soil for each one. And I’ll have to wait for some of them to mature enough to produce. That can take a few years for some of the things I want to grow.
My edible landscaping plan is simple.
So far I have decided on:
Garlic, which I want to devote a large area to growing, needs an area all its own.
Edible & medicinal flowers like coneflower (Echinacea), lavender, and nasturtiums will help make the landscape more beautiful.
Clovers which many think of as a weed are actually edible. And the bees they attract are great for pollinating all my plants and for making clover honey.
Strawberries are already growing in my vegetable garden but I want to move them. They tend to sprawl and wander and take over. The great thing is I get free, new strawberry plants just by using the runners from my existing plants!
The peppermint has the same wanderlust as strawberries so I need to move that from the vegetable garden before it takes over completely! I may just restrict myself to growing it in pots.
Herbs grow in my garden and in the house but I’d love to have a separate herb garden. I’ll put that closer to the house so I can run out and easily snip whatever I need. This great herb garden I found on The Garden Glove has definitely given me ideas!
Pete is going to cut down a large area of “junk trees” to make room for some of my edible landscape. The trees there currently are ugly and prone to disease. Instead that entire area will, eventually, be full of fruit trees, blueberry bushes, herbs, and other edibles.
I’d also love to line the walk from our parking area to the porch with pots filled with edibles. The space that is now just grass and stone could become a lovely, fruitful path.
Do you have edible landscaping? What kinds of plants do you grow? Tell me in the comments!
images courtesy of – Mother Earth Living, You tube, and The Garden Glove