Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 Trees Questions

Sap oozing from trunks of Cherry Laurels in Austin, TX
January 24, 2015 - I have several mature compact cherry laurels whose leaves are beginning to turn yellow. They are in raised beds, have been properly fertilized, have compost spread around them, and are properly water...
view the full question and answer

Non-native peanutbutter tree suckering in Oregon City OR
August 02, 2011 - I have a beautiful 'peanutbutter tree' in my yard. I have noted that there are plantlets coming up that appear to be attached to the main root(s) of the tree. I have been breaking them off as I don...
view the full question and answer

Need a Replacement for Chinese Tallow tree in Austin, TX
November 26, 2014 - I live in Austin and have a large Chinese Tallow in my front yard. I would like to cut the tree down, but it provides shade to my home. I was hoping to start growing a native fruit/nut tree near the C...
view the full question and answer

Watering oaks during drought in Austin
July 29, 2009 - Should we be watering our live oaks and Spanish oaks during this drought? How often and how much?
view the full question and answer

Can Live Oak suckers be mowed during Oak Wilt spread season in Austin?
April 12, 2010 - I live in South Austin, not too far from the Wildflower Center. I have a Live Oak in my yard with a substantial amount of sucker growth from the roots. Can I mow them freely throughout the year, or ...
view the full question and answer

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