around our property

We live on 2.6 acres in zone 9b, Florida. Our property has a 1/4 acre pond, a fenced-in backyard, a big front yard, and a large field in the back and it has been my mission to turn it into a food forest.

drone view of the pond and front yard

It took me a while to understand the layout of our property. There are dry areas, low-lying areas that flood and the changing of the sun’s path each season leaves some areas in full shade all winter long.

the field

We have a low-lying field that floods during the rainy season.

the field during the summer
the field during the winter

I am slowly working on alleviating the flooding by digging a pond in the field. I’ve been using the dirt to make raised beds in rows to keep the plants high and dry while the swales in between hold water when it floods.

digging a pond

The flooding will be an issue for a while, so for now, I only plant water-loving plants out in the field. The large tree is a rainbow eucalyptus, and the grass-like plants are native cat-tails that conveniently started growing there one day.

the corner planter

We built this corner planter because it seemed like a great spot to have a garden. It receives full sun in the summertime when the sun shines from the north, but as winter solstice rolls around, it is fully shaded by the Melaleuca trees behind it.

I also regretted using railroad ties for the wall since there are some serious chemicals in these things. We cut them with a chainsaw and by the next day, any grass under the sawdust had turned bright yellow. Over time, these chemicals leach out as the wood decomposes and could kill the plants and contaminate the food.

I’ll wait until the ties are badly decomposed, then I’ll remove them and make a rock wall instead.

along the fence

The fence line is the most productive part of our food forest. I used logs to define the space and build up the beds. I continually fill it in with leaves, soil, and yard debris.

fenceline food forest

There are close to 100 varieties of edibles, pollinators, and native plants along this fenceline.

around the property | our food forest tour

I find pride in showing others to encourage as many people as possible to stop using chemical fertilizers to make a small impact on the IRL and a huge impact on local wildlife.