Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 04, 2013

From: Livermore, CA
Region: California
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Herbs/Forbs, Trees
Title: Interested in a mini food forest
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I am interested in starting a mini "food forest" in a twelve foot by twelve foot patch of earth next to my house. I'd like to put a focus on making sure that the bulk of the plants I introduce are both native to the area and edible. Which plants might be great for this?

ANSWER:

Until he received your question , Mr. Smarty Plants was unfamiliar the concept of a “food forest”, so off he went to the internet. One of the first articles found told about the Hazelwood Food Forest project in Pittsburg that measures 90’ x 100’, or about 0.25 acres.  Your proposed plot (about 0.00306 acres) seemed a bit too small. However, an article at natural news.com  indicates that one can establish a food forest in the back yard. This is corroborated by this link .

The other sources that were found deal with how-to articles and plant lists to consider.

How to articles

 wilderness college.com  a good how and why article

Plant lists

  theodorepayne.org  

  California Native Plant Society 

  plantsofcalifornia.com 

Good luck with your project!

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Evergreen plant with berries for wildlife
September 16, 2007 - We live in central Texas and I am attempting to plant for wildlife. Could you suggest an evergreen, approximately 3-4 feet tall, that would have berries for the birds in the Fall and winter? The pla...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for Globe Thistle in Virginia
June 15, 2013 - Hi, We are trying to get our garden to be 100% North American Native and are at about 90% native to our region. One of the last plants we have to replace is our Globe Thistle. Do you have a good r...
view the full question and answer

Attracting birds in Greenville, SC
April 15, 2009 - Hi, I live in Northeastern South Carolina near the mountains and I am making a shade garden in my back yard. I also want to attract birds to my yard. There are 100 ft tall and even some 125 ft tal...
view the full question and answer

Host plants for Painted Lady Butterflies (Vanessa cardui)
August 22, 2009 - I am looking for host plants for the Painted Lady Butterfly that I can plant in my school's (I am a teacher) native plant/butterfly garden. As part of the curriculum, each Fall our 2nd graders study ...
view the full question and answer

Literature on native plants and wildlife from Baltimore
September 04, 2010 - Can you tell me a good review of the literature on the relation between native plants and ecology; for example, a study might indicate how native plants support more birds or other wildlife.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.