Edible Forest Gardens

Grow an Edible Forest Garden in your Yard to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

by Pat Rasmussen, Edible Forest Gardens

Imagine your yard as an edible forest garden with fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and a ground cover of perennial vegetables and fruit. Modeled on natural forest function, edible forest gardens are self-sustaining – the trees pump water and nutrients for other plants and companion planting improves growth. The healthy soils and the planted trees and bushes take carbon from the atmosphere and hold it. The gardens are no-till, organic and provide food for families, neighborhoods and towns while increasing the urban forest cover. Food items that travel 2000 miles to the local store are replaced by locally grown food, reducing carbon emissions. Replacing lawns with forest gardens also reduces carbon emissions that result from mowing – one hour using a lawn mower is the same as forty late model cars for an hour on the freeway – and ends the use of pesticides and fertilizers on lawns which run off during storms into creeks, rivers, lakes and Puget Sound, threatening salmon and Orcas. Planting trees along the south side of your house reduces the need for air-conditioning. When people grow their own food locally in their yard, pressure to convert forests to agriculture is reduced, thereby saving old growth forests which hold a great deal of carbon.

Learn about what you can do in your own yard  contact with an Edible Forest Garden in Olympia.

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