Food Forest and Foodscaping in Julia Kincaid's Landscape Management Class
Our Landscape Management class has been given the opportunity to renovate a courtyard on our school grounds. As a teacher, it is my duty to equip students with useful skills for their future. Providing one’s own food with what Nature provides is a Basic Life Skill that everyone should know. So we have decided to create a Food Forest using Foodscaping techniques.A Food Forest is a low-maintenance, food production system that mimics woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, perennial and annual vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.Foodscaping is transitioning traditional landscapes, like lawns, shrubs, and flowerbeds into an edible garden which provides food and nutrients to humans and incorporates plant biodiversity which benefits our environment. By simply taking a traditional landscape and tucking food plants in here and there, you create a yard that can feed you.The majority of food and herbs grown in the Food Forest will be given to the on-site food pantry and to our student-run restaurant, The Blue Apron. However, the Food Forest will be accessible to all students who are free to wander through the courtyard between classes and enjoy their lunchtime out of doors. They will be able to pick blueberries and other fresh produce to add to their lunch or enjoy a fresh snack during art class while they draw or paint using our beautiful Forest as their inspiration. Because a better part of our plants will be open-pollinated, heirloom varieties which will enable students to save seeds from the plants we grow and grow them at their own homes thereby increasing their self-reliance. No fancy equipment required! They will only need seeds, soil, sun and rain to step onto the path of self-sufficiency. Should students pursue Landscape Management after high school, they will have two different skill-sets, Landscape Design AND Foodscape Design. They can create their own niche market with little competition while also teaching others how to grow their own food thus creating a more self-reliant population. Below you will See our Schematic design. All of the plants outlined in black are existing and the new plants are shown in green and labeled. We have written multiple grants and raised a little over $900 on a GoFundMe campaign. We will use the donations/grants for Mulch, Path materials, Soil, Plants, Seeds, Trees, a Water Feature, a Shed, all totally $8000.As the instructor, I have a long-term vision of turning other green spaces into something more than just a traditional landscapes or mono-cultured lawns. I hope to install a Greenhouse that my students will be able to start large quantities of seeds in so that we might expand upon the Food Forest idea throughout campus, turning neglected spaces into havens, improving plant diversity, rebuilding soils, and providing even more food for our high school community.