It has always been a priority to turn a large part of the land around The Lily Pad into a food bowl. The Food Forest is the start of this story.
The thought of being self sufficient to a large extent, while eating fresh seasonal produce, certainly has its appeal. Along with less mowing of course.
The initial food forest area was created by planting a small grove of citrus trees around the makeshift fire pit. This was inspired by the presence of a very old, prolific grapefruit tree located nearby. It wasn’t until a number of large camphor laurel trees were brought down that the grapefruit actually began to thrive. Prior to that, it had been struggling against the might of the camphor, hidden beneath a tumble of twisted branches.
Stage 2 of the food forest evolved after we attended the Milkwood Permaculture Design Certificate course in May 2017. A circle of paw paw trees were planted and a cardamom bush was added to the collection of ginger, galangal and turmeric. Towards the top in full sun, we added a selection of foundation trees such as the Miracle Fruit, sub-tropical Peach (Florda Prince), Jacoticaba, Madrono and Panama Berry, plus smaller Dwarf Mulberry, Pepino and Sweet Leaf Bush. Mushroom Plants, Lebanese Cress, Water Celery and Chocolate Mint were dotted around the cooler shaded areas.
Over time, we will continue to plant out the vertical layers and infill the spaces between pathways. Watch this space!
The sandstone fire pit evolved within the centre of the food forest, overlooking the main horse paddock.
A selection of gingers, turmeric and galangal.
Recycled timber sleepers create an inviting entrance.
Native rainforest trees have been retained in the food forest area, providing shade and diversity to the range of species.
This tree provides shade to under-storey plants and plays an important role in the vertical layering that is iconic within food forests.
EDIBLE EXOTIC FRUITS
A selection of unusual native and exotic fruits have been planted, including Tahitian Lime, Dwarf Mulberry, Panama Berry and Miracle Fruit.
Orange, mandarin, tangelo, lemon… And the list goes on!
PAW PAW CIRCLE
The luscious paw paws have always grown well on the property.
This old, prolific grapefruit tree is possibly the sole inspiration for the evolution of the food forest.