The Similarities & Differences Between Food Forests and Victory Gardens

Written by Don Richardson

    You may have heard of victory gardens before, but what about food forests? Though these two terms may not be immediately familiar to you, they both refer to specific types of gardens that offer a bounty of benefits. But what exactly are they? And more importantly, how are they similar and how are they different? Keep reading to find out! 
What is a Food Forest?  
    A food forest is a type of garden that integrates trees, shrubs, herbs, and perennials in a way that mimics a natural forest ecosystem. The goal of a food forest is to create a space where you can go to harvest food while also providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.  
What is a Victory Garden?  
    A victory garden is a type of garden that was popularized during World War I and World War II. These gardens were used to supplement the food supplies of families during times of rationing and shortages. Victory gardens typically consisted of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.  

Similarities Between Food Forests and Victory Gardens  
Though food forests and victory gardens are different in some ways, there are also many similarities between the two. Let's take a look at some of the most noteworthy similarities below.  
- Both food forests and victory gardens can be used to supplement your food supply.  
- Both types of gardens are relatively easy to set up and maintain.  
- Both food forests and victory gardens can be grown in small spaces.  
- both provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.  
- Herbs, vegetables, fruits, and other edible plants can all be grown in both food forests and victory gardens.  
- Both types of gardens can help you become more self-sufficient.  
- Both food forests and victory gardens can improve your mental and physical health.  
- Food forests and victory gardens can both provide you with fresh air, exercise, and relaxation.  
    Both food forests and victory gardens are designed to be low maintenance. This means that once the garden is established, it will require very little ongoing care. This is opposed to traditional gardens, which often require frequent weeding, watering, and fertilizing in order to stay healthy. 
    A food forest is very similar to a Victory Garden. They are both planting systems that were developed out of necessity. The main difference between the two is that a Food Forest is a more sustainable and naturalistic approach to gardening.  
How does a Food Forest Differ from a Victory Garden?  
    The main difference between a Food Forest and a Victory Garden is in their philosophy. Victory Gardens were created as a way to increase food production during wartime. They relied heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In contrast, Food Forest rely on natural methods such as composting and mulching to create rich soils that can support an abundance of plant life.  
    Another key difference is that Victory Gardens were typically planted with annual crops such as tomatoes and beans. These crops need to be replanted every year.  A Food Forest is planted with mainly Perennial crops such as fruit trees and berry bushes can remain in the ground for years, yielding an ongoing supply of fresh produce.  
    Both food forests and victory gardens have their pros and cons. It really depends on your individual needs as to which type of garden is right for you. If you're looking for a low maintenance option that can provide a variety of resources, then a food forest may be the way to go. But if you're wanting to grow enough produce to subsist on, then you may want to consider planting a victory garden. If you are really ambitious and want plenty of diversity, then plant both. No matter which type of garden you choose, the important thing is that you get started! 

Introducing the Food Forest - A New Way to Grow Your Own Food

Written by Don Richardson
A New Way to Grow Your Own Food
  Imagine a forest filled with food. Trees laden with ripe fruits, bushes overflowing with fresh berries, and delicate herbs carpeting the ground between them. This might sound like something from a fairytale, but it's actually a reality. Welcome to the world of food forests.
  Food forests are a type of permaculture garden that mimics the structure of a natural forest ecosystem. In a food forest, fruit and nut trees are planted alongside shrubs, herbs, and other edible plants. This creates an environment where each plant can support and nurture the others, leading to increased yields and healthier plants overall.

Why Grow a Food Forest?
  There are many reasons why you might want to consider growing a food forest. For one thing, food forests are incredibly efficient. Because they mimic the structure of a natural forest, they require very little maintenance or input once they are established. And because they are so diverse, food forests can provide you with a never-ending supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs - all without having to ever purchase them from the grocery store again.
  In addition to being efficient, food forests are also good for the environment. By mimicking the structure of a natural ecosystem, food forests help to restore balance to ecosystems that have been disrupted by monoculture agriculture. They also help to promote biodiversity and combat climate change.
  Finally, food forests are just plain beautiful. They are living landscapes that provide you with both aesthetic pleasure and practical benefits - what could be better than that?
User's Guide to Growing Your Own Food Forest 
  If you're interested in growing your own food forest, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, make sure to choose a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day - fruit trees especially need lots of sun in order to produce bountiful harvests. Many other plants need less sun or even mostly shade. Secondly, make sure to choose plants that will do well in your climate zone - this will ensure that your plants are able to thrive without needing extra care or attention. And lastly, have patience! Growing a food forest takes time - usually three to five years - but it is so worth it in the end. Seeing your hard work pay off as you harvest delicious fruits and vegetables from your very own backyard is an experience you'll never forget. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your food forest today! As they say, “The best time to grow a food forest was 20 years ago. The next best time is today.”
  Do lots of research and come up with a plan. You do not have to do everything that you may see on YouTube, I don’t. For instance some people on the videos I have watched say to make a hole twice as wide & twice as deep, put this and that in the hole to provide such and such for the plant, cover with dirt and add these things to the top and then cover with mulch. I basically create a small mound, dig the hole as suggested, put the plant in the whole cover it with dirt and then mulch and water it in, that’s it, done. I have not added anything extra, and my plants are doing just fine without spending the extra money. Instead of fertilizer, plant companion plants so they can take care of each other, use mulch, and do chop and drop methods to provide nourishment to your plants. This is where research comes in on what plants to plant and how to create a natural eco system.
What are you waiting for?
  If you are interested in growing your own food, but you don’t want to put in a lot of work, then you should consider creating a food forest. Once a Food Forests is established, they are very easy to maintain, and they can provide you with an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries. Plus, they are absolutely beautiful! and can provide habitat for wildlife.

How the DreamBuilder® Program Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How the DreamBuilder® Program Can Help You Live Your Best Life
What is something you would LOVE to be, do, or have, but don’t actually believe it could happen?   
In other words, what is the first thing that comes to mind when asked:  “What would you absolutely LOVE, if you could be, do or have ANYTHING?” 

Progress update - Greenhouse

Progress update - Greenhouse
Written by Don Richardson

 This post contains affiliate links through Amazon.  We only recommend products we use and trust. If you purchase anything using our link, we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Progress Update:

We found an inexpensive greenhouse on Amazon for $320.00 and it even has a built-in overhead sprinkler system. It is the Amerlife Walk-in Tunnel Greenhouse.

We contacted Turner Dowling of No Stress Endeavors and he drove over with a huge trailer of sand for our foundation. Sorry, I did not take any pictures but I was very impressed that he was able to back in and maneuver his truck and extra long trailer in without hitting anything in the small space available. Videos are available on our YouTube channel . We expected a dump truck, not a trailer. I am definitely recommending if you need bulk landscape materials delivered in the Ocala/Williston area. 
Call Turner @ (305)900-8226.

This is how it looked before we had the sand delivered and leveled out to place our fabric and greenhouse.

We also had to hire Lucas Excavation and Clearing because there was no way I was going to be able to get this sand nice and flat and level with a shovel and rake. If you need any sort of land clearing in the Ocala area, , I highly recommend Lucas @ (352)208-7098  

Once the sand was flattened, we put the plastic tarp down. Due to the heat and humidity, and us both being busy pet sitting, it was a multi-day job. The greenhouse was extremely easy to put together once the parts were separated and laid out. I would say that not counting for the many breaks that were needed because it was so hot and humid out, with a little help from Julie, it took 2-3 hours to finish it. Now that the greenhouse and surrounding 25'x40' area is finished, it is time to run the water line to the back of the greenhouse and hook it up.  We are now ready to set it up for propagating, potting and growing plants. Also, I will put in some shelves and a couple of barrels full of water to help regulate the temperature and Voilà, good to go and on to the next project.

What is the Ocala Food Forest about?

What is the Ocala Food Forest about?
Written by Don Richardson

What is it about?
The Ocala Food Forest is about following us and getting inspired on a DIY Food Forest journey. This is about the real New Green Deal, not what they are pushing in Washington D.C. but on how to really fix the earth by fixing and cooling down the earth we survive on. If you cool the ground you can do your part on fixing Global Warming. Just think about it for a minute, People strip the earth of plants and the ground heats up, and where does heat go? Up! Causing the warming of the atmosphere. What do plants do? They provide Life! They cool the ground, provide oxygen, provide food and medicine. Plants are what we depend on to live.
I'm not going to give you exactly how you should make your Food Forest in the blog post, I will show you what I am doing and the rest is up to you to do more research because every area of land is different and you may need to experiment. For instance, when I lived in Iowa, the ground was a different soil & you would plant a tree even with the ground. Here in Florida I don't have that dark soil & when I plant a tree, I need to plant it slightly above the ground and create a berm and make the berm large enough for companion plants.
My Story
Hello! My name is Don, I am the other part of the 1st Rate Life story and the creator of 1st Rate Services. I also make and sell 3d figures & I am developing a Permaculture/Food Forest at our home in Ocala Florida.
After moving from Iowa to Florida in 2012, me and my life partner Julie decided to start a Pet Sitting business which is still in business after the Covid debacle. During my time down due to the shutdowns in 2020, I started to learn about this thing called Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) and decided to do more study into it. In August of 2020 I bought my first plants for my Food Forest and have been purchasing, designing & planting my food for the future life.
During this time, I also decided to purchase a few 3d machines to make some extra cash online since everything offline was being shut down & our successful pet sitting business slowed down because of the shutdowns happening everywhere. Basically, I print figures and scenery for role playing games and later I am going to create things like statues and other decorations for my food forest as well.
Future Plans
With growing the Food Forest comes the desire to help others discover and learn how to provide food for them & their families. In my thoughts; if everyone did just a little or as much as they can, we would have no world hunger, no food riots, no worries of feeding our children if the time comes...
I am designing my yard for Plant sales, education, & interaction. First step is planting out the site and continuing to plant new food plants & Florida Native plants. We will also design different ways to grow for different sized spaces to show how you can have abundance in even a small space.
Right now we are working on putting in and getting approval for a plant nursery where we will sell perennials for food & we will sell Florida native plants. We will also let people explore the garden & food forest as well as teach them how we did our site and answer question that may help them establish the same for their yard or even a small porch.
In the near future we plan to put in an area where we can offer camping in a food forest. This will have a few spots to pitch a tent and have a building that has full facilities, bathroom with shower, toilet, & sink. As well as a lounge area that provides a place to cool down or warm up, & more.
This is the plan & the start of our Food Forest blog.  

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