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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