what is a food forest?
Become Self-Sufficient With A Food Forest​

A food forest is a diverse, perennial garden that mimics a forest ecosystem and patterns found in nature. Through layers of design, life extends in all directions producing food, medicine, sanctuary, and habitat.

Food forests incorporate 7 layers of edible plants including fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, rhizomes, mushrooms, and perennial vegetables. A food forest is thoughtfully designed to produce maximum nutrition, beauty and abundance.

Before After

Food forests integrate and draw from the disciplines of permaculture, regenerative agriculture, ecology, biology, and other natural sciences. Together, these disciplines create a living set of tools and practices that can help us engage with nature and our food production in a meaningful way.

A diverse community of life can grow in a small space, making food forests especially suitable for urban and suburban environments. At a deeper individual level, the practice of food forestry can help us cultivate ourselves and transform the ways in which we see and live in the world.

Layers of a Food Forest
Canopy Layer

This is the largest layer of a food forest system and acts as a productive windbreak crop. It is composed of trees that are typically 40+ feet once fully mature.

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Understory Layer

This layer is made up of small productive trees, or large shrubs, designed to increase crop yield. This layer is usually 10-25ft once fully mature.

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Shrub Layer

A perennial crop, consisting primarily of berries and medicinal varieties but also used to build habitat and pollinator support. These plants are usually kept at 10ft once mature.

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Herb Layer

A mix of annuals and perennials, this layer is smaller plant varieties that die back in Winter but return in Spring. These are generally culinary and medicinal herbs used to confuse pests and minimize disease.

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Vines

An additional layer of productivity, the vining layer is vertical grow space. This increases yield and pollinator attraction as they climb through the larger layers of the food forest system.

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Root Zone

An underground layer of edible plants is used to increase soil texture and fertility. These are usually medicinal and culinary roots and tubers.

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Mycelial Network

This is an underground communication network which ties all of the layers together. The mushroom is the fruiting body, while the mycelium assists in carbon sequestration, is a decomposer, and builds a dynamic community of essential microorganisms in the soil. This is the foundation of the whole system.

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Ground Cover

Creeping, living mulch layer. These plants are an essential part of the forest floor and are implemented to increase yield diversity, soil protection, and habitat for insects and wildlife.

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questions & answers

We designed a food forest on 700 square feet in Orlando, FL and it’s loaded with over 40 food and medicine producers. Through the layers of a food forest and what’s planted, more can be yielded in the same square footage of space as an annual garden.

An average backyard installation costs about the same as conventional landscaping. We can grow a lot of food for $10K.

Food forests are forever. Perennial plants can take between 2 and 5 years typically, however, we also plant annual vegetables for your short-term food supply.

You first share details with us about your space, how much you want designed, and what you want out of your food forest. Your designer will gather the information they need and use Google Earth and other tools to assess your property and create the food forest design of your dreams.

Yes. We work with our network of local food forest installers, in locations all across the country and globally, to ensure your designed food forest is installed professionally and to the highest standards. If you are in a remote area, or an area that we do not yet serve, we will do our best to travel to you.

Since our launch on Earth Day 2021, we have designed food forests for customers in 40 states and 15 countries, including resorts in Thailand, large farms in Africa, and single family residences from Poland to Mexico and all around the United States. Our professional food forest designers can design in any location around the world.

Our food forest designs are low-maintenance and, over time, self-sustaining like a natural forest would be. We will create a design that suits your lifestyle and provide any necessary care instructions, support, and training. The best way to maintain is to observe and interact with joy.

Testimonials

I heard of Food Forest Abundance on a podcast and promptly went to the website and put my info in. I heard from them the next day and loved everything I learned. In the next three months not only had I installed my own Food Forest and transformed my yard, including a green house, but I had a long list of potential clients interested in creating their own Food Forest. The level of support and information for success is amazing.
- Laura L Gilson
This has been an amazing journey in just 4 short months and I can not wait to see how we all evolve this vision together as a truly connected community.
- Eli Slossberg
Food Forest Abundance is amazing. What a great culture and vision. The mission is to take care of the Earth and to build a free, healthy, and abundant society for generations to come. This is exactly what FFA does. I am proud to be a part of FFA!
- Mike Jones
This is truly a movement happening that encourages people to grow their own food. I bought my co-op as an installer and it's really been far more than I could have expected. To have so many hard working, smart, and motivated people working together is very inspiring. They provide all the tools that any team member needs in order to succeed in every aspect of life, honestly. I believe the services they(and I) provide are one of the keys to self sufficiency.
- Paul S
Growing freedom one yard at a time.

A food forest is thoughtfully designed to produce maximum nutrition, beauty and abundance.

Are you ready to create a free, healthy, and abundant life with your very own food forest?