Inspirational Indigenous Forest Gardens

In case you have not already come across this wonderfully inspiring discovery of cultivated forest gardens on the west coast of North America, that are still productive 150 years after having been established, please read more about the Tsm’syen and Coast Salish First Nations villages surrounded by intentional forest garden plantings of fruit and nut trees, berries and herbs.

The article referenced comes from a more detailed publication on the sustainability and improved biodiversity over conventional agriculture. While it should be no surprise that people and cultures who lived in a more connected and direct way with the land developed these plots, it is very exciting to see that they endure over time. The legacy of intentionally planting food bearing trees and perennials far outlives those who planted them.

And now for a piece of overly sappy commentary…

Once on a tour of one of our very young food forests, someone commented that “forest gardens are a young person’s game”, seeming to imply that if you are older, you will not reap the benefit of them yourself. Not being a young person, my response is, there is a great joy in knowing something can and will live beyond us to give to other generations and to restore rather than to steal from nature. We may not get to taste a pine nut from “that tree over there”. Our harvest can be the joy of each new event and each new season. Bonus and gratitude is the taste of the pine nut (or as the reference article quotes, the hazelnut that travelled 700 km to be cultivated and enjoyed in the forest garden).

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