In an earlier post, I talked about an Enchanted Forest in the Desert. Now I am here to tell you about a food forest in the desert!
I’ve heard about edible backyards. I imaged it as the backyard lined with various fruits and vegetables while the center is grass and the yard is decorated with various paths, rocks, and colorful flowers. I pictured it as a combination of life with a beautifully designed and crafted layout.
That is not how Jay Barringer’s (owner of Edible Foodscaping in Arizona) back or front yard was at all! When we arrived at Jay’s house, we could immediately see the difference between his yard and his neighbor’s yards. First of all, there was no driveway. There was dirt everywhere. Not rocks. Not grass or ground cover. Simply compost and mulch that covered just about the whole yard including most of the driveway. The smell of the compost woke you up but yet, put your mind at ease.
Once you are standing in his driveway, the greenery smacks you in the face. There is no missing it. It is impossible to see through his forest to the other side of his yard. It is even difficult to decipher what is growing in that tall abundant forest of his.
But, then you take a step under the patio and viola! You see tall trees, short trees, and fruit growing on the trees. There is a beautiful, naturally made path to walk through this tiny but exemplified forest. The path allows a person to peacefully walk through, gather your food, and care for the living trees. Each step in the dirt takes your worries away.
As you make your way to the backyard, you will see trees lining the fence and the house. Trees that are so close to the house you have to wonder if they will turn his home into a tree house as they grow.
In the backyard, you quickly overlook the tons of container gardening. It is a tactic Jay uses to grow his trees before putting them in the ground. Your eye will quickly catch site of a covered rainforest area but there is one small intriguing path to follow before entering in the rainforest. The small path is short but it is filled with fascinating life. The most amazing tree back there changes colors. The bark of the tree looks like a psychedelic scene from a movie. Nobody in our group had ever seen a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree before.
The last section of this less than 1/4 acre back yard is what I call a rainforest. Jay installed shade above the trees and a pond with fish. He was growing all sorts of edible foods under this canopy. Things of all sorts of colors, shapes, sizes and taste. The massive amount of growing that is occurring per square foot on this yard is amazing! It can really only be comprehended by a visit.
This Edible Foodscape allows for the plants to grow and thrive in their natural setting. The dirt, the trees, the plants all work together to create a naturally beautiful setting like nothing I have ever seen before.
Have you every visited Jay’s Edible Foodscaping or any other Edible yard? What was it like?