Food Forest Project at the Rosebud Community Garden
What is a food forest?
A food forest is a method of growing food that involves planting a wide variety of fruit and nut trees, vegetables and herbs, and an array of plants that attract good insects and/or ward off pests and diseases.
This mix of plants is known as a polyculture. The majority of the food we buy is grown in fields that are planted out with a single crop and these are monocultures.
At our garden we intend to plant the majority of the communal areas using the principals of a food forest (also known as a forest garden). Just like a ‘natural’ forest, an established food forest requires little to no human effort to be sustained. There is no digging or weeding, and no herbicides, fertilisers or pesticides are used. The hard work is takes place during its development.
The first phase of our Food Forest Project started in the middle of 2013. Local businesses rallied when asked to help out with materials:
- Waterfall Gully Cafe, Plants & Produce donated many fruit trees.
- Hillview Quarries supplied crushed dust to top-dress paths.
- Rosebud Garden Supplies supplied soil for new garden beds.
- Transpacific provided enough mulch to cover most communal areas.
For a complete list of the local businesses and organisations that support the Rosebud Community Garden check out Friends of the RCG.
On 30 November 2013, Mayor Antonella Celi offically launched our Food Forest Project and unveiled the Food Forest Sponsors 2013 plaque to thank our sponsors.
We consider our sponsors to be integral members of the Rosebud Community Garden community and encourage garden members and friends to support them with their custom. This is an imperative if the garden is to benefit from their continued support.
The next phase
We are working with the Mornington Peninsula Shire to manage the encroaching kikuyu grass from the surrounding park before embarking on phase two of the Food Forest’s implementation. This involves under-planting the new fruit trees around the garden’s boundary. We are seeking a non-toxic solution to keeping the grass from invading our boundaries and our new food forest. Once this has been addressed we will begin planting out the next layer of the food forest.