An essential way to gain self-reliance while living off the grid is by starting a food forest. Everyone likes to nibble on some sort of snack or chocolate from time to time. Well, a food forest could be the answer to just about everything food. In case you are wondering what a food forest is, it is a system which focuses on producing food through the method of agroforestry. This would mean that in a food forest, a lot of edible fruits can be found on trees, shrubs and many more plants.
The plants which are usually found in food forests include but are not limited to;
· Nut trees
· Perennial trees or vegetables
The plants which usually make up the food forests are mostly found in New Mexico where it has all the necessary nutrients to grow effectively.
Moving to New Mexico would be the perfect place to start a food forest and what better off the grid community exists in New Mexico than the Good Old Fashioned off the grid community. This community is interested in the cultivation of food forests by its members.
When it comes to food forests, the focus is mainly on perennial plants. Such plants may include;
· Nut trees in general
The Pistachios plant’s scientific name happens to be Pistacia vera L. Its species are a group of plants belonging to the same family as poison oak and cashew to just name a few. Pistachios remarkable requirement for healthy growth shows just why it will be a plant widely sought in places such as New Mexico. The plant thrives in winter and that is where it happens to go normally at very low temperatures. This obviously leads to issues during summer when the temperature levels are not so low anymore.
Pistachios trees are obviously then better produced in areas where during the winter period, the temperatures drop really low and the environment becomes really hot and dry during the summer. Cultivating this plant in a place which has a reputation for becoming very hot is a recipe for disaster.
The plant most likely found its origin in the Asia region where it was normal to see a bunch of tall trees all growing together in small spaces. Such countries such as Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan. From there, this species over time, have become popular in the United States of America finding the right conditions for surviving in places such as New Mexico.
The off the grid community focuses on ways and methods to grow all types of perennial trees together with very maintenance needed which gives you the time to relax and not be overly stressed. To make this possible, a lot of work has been put into the planning and design of these food forests.
Pistachio trees are one of these trees which fall under trees that can be planted and maintained with little stress. The pollination process of a pistachios tree is done by the wind and so isn’t really a problem faced by most owners of such trees.
To make sure that the plant produces larger and quality fruits though, pruning is needed, for young pistachios trees or plants, pruning can be done by choosing the branches which you wish to cut off according to your needs and preference. Such branches will most likely include branches that cover or affect the tree trunk capacity to receive the direct flow of sunlight.
The pistachio tree is a tree which can be grown and expected to last a long period of time without dying on you for lack of maintenance. The seeds of this plants are very edible and as such would fit perfectly into food forest developed in the community at New Mexico.
The Good Old Fashioned community however, does not only focus on pistachios plants. It also pays special to other nut trees in general such as;
If you ever want to start a food forest, you would have to strongly consider blueberries as a plant you would grow. Blueberries are known to be edible and very delicious. These plants find their origin in North America.
Maintenance in relation to blueberry trees is very low. This is because the blueberry tree can thrive even on its own on the condition that certain requirements have already been met. These requirements could include, temperature levels, soil ph. and many more.
However, blueberries grown together closer can be adequately maintained by watering it regularly. Watering should most likely take place in the day and should not be overly done. Keeping the soil moist is the goal, so the plants should not be watered excessively.
It is also important to have an eye out for the growth of weeds. Blueberries have very shallow roots and as such, competition from any other plants or weed could reduce or minimize the amount of water it is able to take in. hence, control of weeds is crucial. Weeds should be eliminated by pulling them out. Trying to remove weeds from the grounds using such mechanisms like hoe could result in removing your blueberries since its roots are fairly shallow.
When it comes to pruning, it usually is not taken into account until at least after two years of planting has passed. During this period, pruning will only be necessary in order to remove canes which have been destroyed for one reason or the other.
Blueberries grow together in what can be considered as a small bush. When the blueberries are matured and have stayed for more than 3 years, efforts can be made to cut off some canes. However, this should not be over-done.
Because blueberries are edible and tasty, birds would be interested in blueberries trees. To protect your blueberries bush from being picked on by different birds, netting can be done to prevent it. This would significantly reduce the amount of blueberries birds will consume from the plant.
However, because of the soil acidity content in New Mexico, blueberries should be grown during the month of July. Moving to New Mexico might just get you tasty blueberries.
· MEXICAN NUT PINE
The Mexican nut pine tree is not unknown to Americans as it has the reputation of being among the first class of trees in America which are considered to be native trees. They are part of the larger Pine nuts family. It is known with different names with one of such names being Mexican Pinyon.
As its name suggests, these trees can be found in New Mexico where its dryland fits its growth perfectly. The soil needed to grow this plant is dry rocky soil meaning that the nut pine will perform absolutely amazing in New Mexico.
The cultivation of the tree is done by sowing the seeds during the fall meaning you should plant the nut pine tree sometime in late September or early November. The plant normal grows together in what can be considered shrubs.
This tree or plant is one plant that requires very little or no maintenance. One of the reasons for this is its ability to go long periods of time without water. The only time this plants probably will need water is when they are still tender and probably is about to be transplanted. Really, the only maintenance this plant needs is irrigation occasionally. This is because watering regularly has an adverse effect on those plants.
· PECAN NUTS
One of the largest producing nut trees is the pecan nut trees. It belongs to the Hickory tree family and is generally considered to one of the biggest of such trees. Pecan trees look best in places with a lot of sunlight and because of this, it can be grown effectively in New Mexico.
Pecan trees really require very little maintenance and is an ideal tree to have in a food forest. Ways to care for this plant include the following;
1. Watering the pecan tree especially when it is still young is absolutely necessary. However, water should subsequently decrease as the pecan trees grow to maturity. At that stage, watering becomes less important and the tree can effectively survive on its own.
2. Your pecan tree might need to be fertilized every once in a while. Fertilizers which has high nutrients in zinc can be used as fertilizer. This usually happens only once a year.
Because pecan nut trees can be found in New Mexico, you can expect to plant it in your food forest if ever you plan on moving off the grid soon.
Pick A Topic