Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Urban Food Forest and Learning Garden

A couple years ago I was introduced to DMACC's beginning food forest and had the opportunity to share a little insight to help plan the next phases of the project.  Then towards the end of last year I heard the unfortunate news that the food forest was going to be removed for other plans, and if I knew of any non-profit groups that could use the fruit trees and other plants...

But earlier this year I got an email announcing that the food forest would be saved, and they could work with me for a completely new design in their great new location!

Time was of the essence as the existing trees needed to be moved, preferably while still dormant.  Several planning meetings took place to explore options, determine resources and make sure the new design fit the planned style of the new student center.

The space is a permaculture food forest, with multiple canopy layers, various crops and lower maintenance companion plantings.  But instead of designing around a home or acreage, it is designed as part of an education center.  The space is also home to an outdoor classroom, learning barn, natural playspace as well as different demonstration and conservation practices that can be replicated by businesses and residents.

Phase One of the installation was completed this Spring.  The existing fruit and nut trees and shrubs from the old food forest were moved and pruned for health.  A few trees had to be replaced, and a few new varieties were added as well.  Many new companion crops and supporting plants were planted in the understory.

 Students and faculty even had a volunteer day to help with the sheet mulching and spreading of wood chips.

Lastly the raised beds were built for the annual gardens, using upcycled garage door panels, reclaimed logs buried inside, and trimmed out with naturally weather-resistant cedar.

Summer growing photos!

Come visit the food forest on a guided tour this Tuesday!

Hosted by DMACC Sustainable Urban
Sep 24 at 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1100 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50314