I came across an article on Tenth Acre Farm that has totally inspired me to think about ‘edible landscaping’. Amy has made me step back and look at our entire approach to both our flower and our veggie beds (not to mention our lawns) in a whole different light!
Up until a few years ago, we were only focused on creating a beautiful landscape design that complimented the style of our suburban home.
I love my flowerbeds so much and spend a lot of time working in them.
Then I got extremely sick and we basically had no choice but to raise “safe” foods for me. So first, we started raising chickens and ducks and turkeys (now pheasant and quail). We dedicated a good chunk of our acre to them and we’re still expanding to give them even more room to free range and have happy, healthy lives.
We set up a butchering area, bought a chicken plucker (which my hubby loves!) and added an incubator so we could hatch out more for us.
Then we chose an area around the poultry pens where we began to grow our food, in both raised beds and in traditional beds. We started small and add a bit more each year, and we are still learning more about how to get the most out of our efforts each season.
All the while the beds all around the front and sides of the house have been dedicated to flowers and shrubs that are basically just there for looks.
And they do look lovely, but…
But, what if?
What if we used some of that space to add some ‘edible landscaping’? Why not turn the manure spreader planter into an herb garden this year?
Or add a few edible container plants to my antique egg selling cart?
Or how about some watercress in the little pond?
Or maybe some lettuce along the flagstone patio?
Or adding perennial edibles around the existing trees to create a food forest?
There are just so many possibilities, including reducing the size of our lawn to accommodate more food production. The best part about edible landscaping is anyone can do it, no matter how much yard you have. Amy is doing it on just a tenth of an acre!
I still want to grow flowers because I love them but now I am inspired to get more creative with my gardening and will be looking for ways to integrate edibles and maximize every inch of this acre we’ve been blessed with.