Foodscaping -

Foodscaping: Reap what you sow

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  • Food foraging becoming a trend

    Foraging for food in your back yard

    There's free food all over your backyard. A word of warning though: make sure you know what you're eating, or you could put your health in jeopardy.
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Justin Franzameier is the co-founder of Island Foodscaping. "Foodscaping is the act of growing food within the landscape, but it's also making everything come together in a nice pleasing way."

Do you have a green thumb? Well according to these guys, you don't need one. "Anyone can grow food it's a matter of just getting out there and getting dirty," Justin said.

You can do it on your own, or you can find a permaculturalist. "Permaculture is a framework for designing these permanent agriculture systems. It's especially well suited for a small scale intensive system which is perfect for backyards and urban applications," said Matthew Lynch. "Designing with nature, creating with nature-like paths, nature like elements, letting nature do it's work so that it's low maintenance and heavily produced so that you get food in abundance," said Justin.

Creating an edible landscape to maximize the space that you have. They have a few tips to keep the costs low and the benefits high. The key here? Reduce, re-use, recycle. "We've been using tires to plant sweet potatoes, mounding them up, recycling the rubber tires," said Matt. "Creating gray water systems, so whether its from your washer or sinks, that flows into bananas and bananas love that nutrient rich water," adds Justin.

Old cardboard, gains new value. "Instead of digging, digging is a lot of work, we just put cardboard down as a weed mat to kill the grass that we don't want that we want to replace with food below, and overtime the cardboard, which is around in abundance, will break down and actually feed the soil," explains Matt.

Re-using discarded wood for their raised boxes. "We're building it across a slope so that there's a terrace, filling it with a mix of horse manure and saw dust that will compost down to make a lovely soil to keep our plants nice and happy," said Matt. Those elements, manure, saw dust and compost, were considered waste where they got it from. "One man's trash is another man's treasure," says Matt.

Speaking of trash, anyone can compost no matter what your living situation. "You don't need a lot of space at all in fact there's a lot of different systems you can get a bocashi bucket which is perfect for apartments and there's no smell because it's kept nice and airtight," said Matt.

Need a little help? Just go to your local garden store or check the white pages to find a permaculturalist in your area or, with a quick google search, you can join the global permablitz movement. "It's a great network to tap into to accelerate your learning curve, to tap into local seed exchanges and to tap into that local crop growing knowledge," said Matt.

Worried about the upkeep? "Permaculturalists are inherently lazy and we like to design so that we can recline so the designer becomes the recliner, and if you're smart and creative about it you can design things in so that it's as low maintenance as possible."

Click HERE for a link to the Island Foodscaping website.

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