Food Forests

Oakville is Getting a Food Forest!

The Town of Oakville is partnering with Halton Food to lay the groundwork for a unique initiative that will serve as a pilot project for sustainable gardening in the community.

Beginning this spring, two unique garden spaces – the Oakville Food Forest, managed by Halton Food, and Oakville Pollinator Pathway, led by Oakvillegreen – will take root side by side in an underused former fruit orchard and field within Kingsford Gardens Park. Together they will act to increase the town’s climate resiliency, food security and biodiversity. 

Read the full Town of Oakville press release here.

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What is a Food Forest?

Modelled after tree forests, food forests are edible food systems that require no weeding, spraying or digging. They grow and sustain themselves without human interference. Sincthey are permanent, food forests encourage greater biodiversity than simple backyard gardens.

How Do Food Forests Work?

In essence, a Food Forest is comprised of multiple edible plant layers, all of which exist in a self-sustaining living ecosystem. It includes:

  1. a canopy or tall tree layer (large fruit and nut trees) 
  2. a low tree layer (smaller fruit and nut trees) 
  3. a shrub layer (berries and currants) 
  4. a herbaceous layer (herbs) 
  5. a rhizosphere or root crop layer (shade tolerant root vegetables) 
  6. ground cover crops (clover, mushrooms, strawberries) 
  7. and a vertical layer, such as vines (grapes) 
Image source: Permaculture Action Network