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

Will shoes pick up American Beautyberry fruit and stain carpets?
March 21, 2010 - Do the berries from American Beautyberry fall on the ground so your shoes pick up the berries to stain the carpet in my house?
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
June 13, 2014 - Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Importance of native plants for wildlife.
March 04, 2008 - I just read Donald Tellamy's new book,Bringing Nature Home. He documents how native plants provide more nourishment for wildlife than introduced plants. The definition of native plants that I use is ...
view the full question and answer

Grasses and wildflowers for Houston meadow
February 28, 2008 - I recently bought a house in a new subdivision just south of Houston - as with most new developments, the area is devoid of nature for the most part... I have planted many bird/butterfly/bee fr...
view the full question and answer

Xeriscape demonstration garden
October 30, 2007 - I am working with the city of Schertz to rejuvenate a xeriscape demonstration garden. We want to plant a hummingbird/butterfly garden using native plants. The current bed is currently overrun with ber...
view the full question and answer

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