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Your Food Forest – Mission, Vision & Values

Why are Vision, Mission and Values So Important for Your Food Forest?

Imagine getting out of bed each morning, full of purpose and conviction. You know where your food forest is going (vision), you have a plan to get there (mission) and the standards (values) on how to operate to make it happen.

Before you start planning and designing your food forest you want to ask yourself the following 7 questions:

  1. What are the values you want your food forest to embody?
  2. What do you want or need from your food forest?
  3. What do the landscape need?
  4. How should the end result feel?
  5. What will you do there?
  6. What kind of produce you’d like to have?
  7. What will be the overall theme or function of your food forest?

With the answers to these questions, you will be a lot clearer about your food forest mission, vision and values, so you’ll be able to make it happen quicker, easier, and closer to your ideal picture.

To give you an example of how to answer these questions, here are our answers to the same 7 questions from the week after we purchased our land in Tenerife, in 2015:

Our Food Forest Values

Sustainability, biodiversity, abundance, Garden of Eden, connection to nature, co-creation with nature, role model for holistic, sustainable living, joy, harmony, beauty, silence, love, sensuality, health and wellness…

What Do We Want and Need from Our Food Forest

  • A place of beauty, tranquility, inspiration, energizing.
    A place to connect to something bigger, older and wiser.
    A meeting place between plants, animals & humans.
  • Providing 80% of our fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, herbs and honey – year round.
  • Throughout the year the land will be covered with the flowers and flowering trees and bushes for honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Medicinal herbs garden.
  • Edible mushroom garden.
  • Tropical garden filled with ferns and orchids – a habitat for birds, insects and amphibians
  • Privacy from south and north neighbors.
  • 2 new ponds to collect rainwater and create humid microclimates as habitat for birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and  fish.
  • Wetlands to collect greywater.
  • Greenhouse for sensitive vegetables, sprouting seeds and growing cuts.
  • A sauna.
  • Storage place for firewood.
  • Flat playground.
  • Meditation/sanctuary.
  • Hammock(s) between shade trees.
  • Benches under shade trees.
  • Aviary for small seed-eating birds, with jungle-like feeling.
  • Beehives producing honey, wax, propolis and pollen.

What Do the Landscape and Area Need?

  • The soil everywhere needs rejuvenation, using either compost, deep mulching or preferably green manure cover.
  • Some trees are dying & need to be healed.
  • The barranco (ravine) needs to come back to its glory days of running water (during the rainy season) and green, shady, cool, wet microclimate.
  • The west barranco side should become a fire-barrier.
  • The north garden could benefit from a few tall, shade giving trees.
  • The original pond needs shade to reduce the rate of water evaporation.
  • The pond needs water movement and filtering, so the water contains more oxygen and are clearer.
  • The very south patch in between the wooden fence and the neighbors needs to become alive again.
  • Everywhere we could use more humidity in the soil.

How Should the New Landscape Feel?

A combination of a forest feeling and a subtropical Garden of Eden, with several small special microclimates and sanctuaries (even a bench will do).

What Will We Do There?

  • We see the place as a place where we work, meditate, relax, enjoy chilling out with friends, learn from nature, get inspired…
  • We love the visioning and strategic planning part.
  • We love the DAILY strolling down the patches and checking on the growth of everything.
  • We like pruning and grafting (need to learn how to do those correctly).
  • We love sprouting seeds and propagating plants from cuts.
  • We like harvesting the fruits and vegetables.
  • We like taking care of small animals (birds in the aviary, fish in the ponds, turtles, guinea-pigs, chickens, etc…)
  • We see ourselves working in the garden for 1-2 hours a day.
  • We love sitting in different corners and enjoy the peace and sounds and smells, meditating and reflecting… allowing creativity, imagination and dreaming to take place.
  • We love falling asleep on warm days on hammocks between shade trees.
  • We love having friends coming for outdoor meals and enjoying sunsets and star gazing over a good bottle of wine warmed up by outside fire.
  • We don’t plan to do the more demanding physical work ourselves (earthworks, digging, heavy lifting, etc…), but we plan to have a small team doing these jobs once or twice a month.

What Kind of Produce Would We Like to Have?

  • Fruits (local, citrus, tropical)
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Annual and perennial vegetables
  • Edible and medicinal herbs
  • Medicinal trees and plants
  • Edible mushrooms
  • Honey

What Will Be the Overall Theme or Function?

  • Self-reliant living
  • Sanctuary
  • Playground
  • Healing space

I’d Love to Learn From You…

What is your food forest mission, vision and values…?

Please share them in the comment box below.

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2 risposte

  1. I have a food garden, a forest would be too big of a word.

    My biggest vision: showing my kids how joyful it is to live in harmony with nature, how nature can provide us with everything we need.

    Show them that fruit grows on trees, that potatoes grow under the ground… how much harvesting is collecting treasures. Teach them gratefulness, and making them aware that they can take care of themselves and that nature will take care of them, if they treat her with respect. Love for whatever lives.

    Of course, also being able to eat healthy, the joy of working with my hands in the soil, reducing waste… but my main purpose of the garden? Sharing it with my kids.

  2. Hello Jonathan,

    I’m writing to ask for any help or opinions.

    I’m currently in the process of buying a finca in Tarragona, Catalunya and I think I’ve found one that I love, the problem is it’s 1 hectare of terraced land at 49 degrees.

    Do you think it would still be possible to grow a food forest there?

    There are currently pines and olive trees, amongst other things.

    I have looked at some websites with advice on growing fruit on terraces in India.
    But, really there is no point in buying it if I can’t grow on it.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

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