We Visited A Mature Permaculture Food Forest! Tasty & Inspiring! We Can Do It!

in #gardening2 years ago (edited)


In our ever-shifting times, it is so encouraging to physically inhabit places that are demonstrating what is possible for humanity. In fact, we need more of these places and when we visit them we often can't help but get inspired!!



Perhaps some of you will remember when we visited my parents in Florida in the spring that we took a trip to Florida Gulf Coast University's Food Forest. It is one of the oldest and most established food forests and it's a beautiful example of what is possible.


Today, as we are again in Florida, we made a trip there to see how it had changed given the seasons and this time brought my parents! It was a pleasurable visit and again I learned a few new plants and got to eat some new-to-me fruit.


It was also cool to see the place through my parents' eyes and hear from them. They hear us talking about our "future food forests" and the possibilities of sustainably minded permaculture landscapes, yet, being only 2-3 years old there isn't too much to see!


Mom trying a Surinam Cherry


Dad enjoying the shade produced by the canopy

It takes a trained eye to see what something could become and that's why it's so satisfying to visit a more mature one (especially one in fast-growing ever-green Florida!)!


Food Forests

We've gone into it before, but will give a brief ideology and practice behind the concept of a Food Forest.


Peanut Butter fruit- this was a new one!

As you can guess, it is essentially a landscape which focuses on the production of food, mostly in perennial plant form (comes back year after year).

It mimics the design and ecosystem structure of a forest in that you have a canopy, understory, shrub layer, vining plants and ground cover. An established one, as you'll see in the video, has a nice balance of shade and sun and a great biodiversity.


Usually mulch is an incredible ally in retaining moisture, increasing soil biodiversity and suppressing weeds, while slowly building more soil. This food forest has incredible mulch! They've done very well.

They will also utilize cover cropping, chop and drop and nitrogen fixing plants which will slowly amend and build soil over time.


It is rare to see a mature food forest and this is why this one is so special.

Here are some of the fruits we saw today:

  • Sapodilla
  • "Peanut Butter" Fruit
  • Mulberry
  • Moringa
  • Suriname Cherry
  • Papaya
  • Banana
  • Chaya
  • Avocado
  • Guava
  • And more!

We love visiting places like this because it just adds fuel to our fire!

People like @rawutah also have incredible and mature food forests- be sure to check out his vids and page!

We need this inspiration!

To create and embody the future we want to inhabit, we must catch wind of the vision and IMPLEMENT!


▶️ DTube

YESS!! 😍

:) yeaaahh!!!!

Peanut butter fruit?!! Sounds like my kind of plant. :)

Hehe it def has the texture of peanut butter but not quite the taste :)

Oh I asked the same thing and I see here your answer. Oh well. I do love peanut butter.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful opportunity visiting a mature food forest - I love the idea of food forests - it makes so much more sense for better utilization of the land and a far better way to feed the people of the world. Interesting that it is a University that has developed it - showing some futuristic thinking. I kind of come at "Food forest gardening" from a different angle being that I live in a forest. I like to get to know what is available around me through the seasons, "seeing the abundance" then building on that to expand my food crops for my own needs.

YAY! Seeing a mature FF is a very different things than reading about one. The feel of food producing trees making such a pleasant environment is gorgeous. This is a great exmaple of student initiative and grant money working together to create something truly AWESOME.

You're tuning into to something deep and profound, congratulations. There is so much to harvest, if we only see it... I like yore approach very much. There's book about gardening the forest by Steve Gabriel. I've yet to read it over, but I've heard great things. We are harvesting our first major flush of shiitakes in the forest today and are inspired by the act of turning oak thinnings into edible fungi.


Hey thanks so much for the book recommend - I'm always looking to learn more. Congrats on getting your first crop of shitakes, finding new ways to grow your food by re-purposing. Enjoy!

great video you two and such an amazing food forest so abundant and full of life. I really enjoy getting to see you both in your element and share your passion with us all. You both do it so well.
Ah one day I hope to have my own food forest, thank you for this and lovely to get to see your parents Wren and see your lovely mum xxx

Glad you liked it. The food forest is indeed SO FULL, so beautiful and inspirational.

Thanks for the praise, the passion is the force that moves us both to share. I believe in the vision and believe in the future, than's a major reason why we do this.

Her mom is so sweet and we both miss her already.

watching the dtube....vid..is like watching...you two...enter the chocolate room...in "charlie and the chocolate factory." YOU KNOW ;) :)))))

Hell yes! I loved this scene as a kid (well still do) as it reminds me of what's possible. I always loved the mushroom icing.. There's gotta be something that eats like that. I'm still waiting for the enthusiastic Oompa Loompa to help with clearing and mulching though...

Whenever I get a chance to watch your videos I imagine what our place will evolve into over time. You're a true source of inspiration. Living the dream :)

oh my ... I want to just LIVE THERE! This is a dream of mine and sometime I wonder if we'll ever get there but seeing this is so inspiring and motivational. Thanks so much for sharing the experience.

Yes. It is a splendid place, and amazing when things grow all year round. You'll get there, and just like everything good it's worth waiting for. Glad the post served it's purposes, there's a lot of power in inspiration and motivation. I stand behin the philosophy of just getting stuff in the ground. Mistakes will be made, trees will die, but NOTHING will happen if nothing is planted. What are you most excited about?

Very cool place. I want to just be a castaway there.

Ya, I agree. It'd be a fine place to hang out a while...

Hi friends. You take and amazing video. Thank you for showind us that another way is possible. Now i am living in Buenos Aires city, Argentina, but my dream is move to patagonia and do a king of self-sufficient piece of land. PLease keep od posting more content like this.

I have a question for you: With this permacultural forest can you generate a different weather for plants ??? What i am trying to say is for example if i want to plant a Papaya in a place wich is dry, can i replied a wet ecosistem with the permacultura for them to grow ???

Thanks and keep posting please.

@ignacioarreses, first Argentinian Dtuber

Hey. Good to hear from you and happy you enjoyed the video. It is a huge passion of our's to share and highlight all the great ways of living more sustainably. We will for sure keep the content coming.

That's a great question, and the best answer I always hear in regard to such question is it depends. Each situation is uniqes, but yes it is possible to change the site conditions. You can certainly attract and hold more moisture by planting trees and mulching or creating Swales or other features. Our approach is to simply plant what loves the condition that already exist, so there's less change needed. Change often happens slowly. Thanks for stopping by. ;)

Sure , i am agree i catch your idea. More simple is better as always.

Thanks for your amazing answer, I ll stay tune with chour content, i like it a lot !

Wow, it looks so green and growing and lush there. I love the tropical environment and I did not know that papaya was a nitrogen fixer, you learn something new every day ;-) So much fruit, I bet it was like walking around the best kind of growing larder there?

It is what I call 'grey season' here in the UK. Even the tomatoes in the greenhouse are finished. At least the leaves have started the fall and the myriad colors are scattering patterns of yellow, brown and calico across the pavements and roads which are as grey as the sky. Lol, can you tell I'm a summer person ;-)

It was a real treat, although since everything has its season much of the tree where not fruiting or flowering. It was a very pleasant atmosphere.

OOO, grey season in my least favorite. We just got home and it's been rainy and grey for a couple of days... But like you say, the changing leaves are just so beautiful. I feel you on summer, I for one really enjoy autumn, maybe more so because we can get weeks where it's around 100.

You have got fancy with your videos - music and all! You are inspiring! Look at you with your earrings and your pretty hat! And Ini's beard is getting so big - very manly there Ins! I want to have one of those cherries. I love bamboo!! It's one of Dad's favourite - he goes totally gaga over it when he sees it.

There's a plant that Ini says he has in Mexico, it looks a lot like the loquat I have in my garden. Wonder if it's the same thing - didn't quite catch what he called it.

super cool to see! thanks for sharing.

You’re welcome! :)

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Oh I am so far behind on all my favourites, I can't wait to see what the pair of you are up to.

I love the idea of a food forest and have researched it a bit. As at Toad Hall we have an acre and a half of forest across the road from us that is part of our property and I'd LOVE to make it into such a thing. Especially as I am not there part of the year, so the idea of making a sustainable and some wheat self keeping area of food is a dream of mine! I'm there in Spring and Summer during the hardest part of it, so in the Autumn and Winter it can just settle in and get ready to provide me the next year. We shall see...some day.

Does peanut butter fruit taste like peanut butter!

Hey. First off, the peanut butter fruit tastes something like PB, but I woulnd't name it as such. It's reminiscent, but not overly so.

That sounds like a great dream. Turning a forest into a food forest is much differently accomplished than stating from a meadow or old field. I'm curious what evolves for you. On our homestead, we are approaching it from both angles as we have about 3 acres of cleared land and 15 forest, so we are trying a varieties of techniques and trees.

There's a whole world out there and if you want to geek out, I'd highly recommend Edible Forest Gardens by David Jacke and Eric Toensmeir. A MUST have for anyone serious on the subject. Blessings.

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Oh my gosh...I love this post!!!!! FOOD FORESTS! D-FOOD!!! @dtube !!!!! I love you two so much!!!!!!!!!! Your adventures....your @dtube videos....your blogs.....your @appics images.....just ALL OF YOU!!!!! Thanks from my heart from tagging me...and INSPIRING me....so dang much!!!! These are the kind of posts...I share off chain....FAR AND WIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't tell you how much you two inspire me! The way you live....the way you express....the way you share! Felt!!!!!!!!! resteemed! i hope so many others...on this chain..and off chain...find your content. It's priceless. Thanks for being here Ini and Wren!!!! please keep it coming....i am by your side!!!! yes....we CAN DO IT!!!!!! :)

Hell ya Brother! WE CAN DO THIS! With the content you're putting out, folks get to see the real deal!!! I got to scope out other videos last week and I'm once again reminded of how important it is to see more advanced production systems. You show ppl that!

You're doing it Jake, and We're happy we connected. You're praise means a lot, as you really get what we're about. Much love and respect.

Thanks for sharing the good news. This info needs to be seen, and just like JohnnyAppleseed, we all need to make sure that there is enough stock to plant the future food forests. Cheers to being a fellow food forester! Mulch on!

Awesome! This sounds like the Garden of Eden to me and I'm not even religious. Seriously, places like these are so important, the total opposite of a supermarket, greenhouses and all that.

I'm sure you can feel the energy as soon as you enter a space like that.

Thanks for sharing! I'm hungry now but I stopped late night snacking a week or two ago, after reading a book called Circadian Code ;>)

See you around,


Vincent, so glad you enjoyed the post. I totally agree how awesome places like this are. They show what is possible and how much better our food systems can be tan the current ones. Being in this food forest is a completely different feel than say an orchard which can be kind of eerie with rows upon rows of sameness.

There's so much potential in this realm and am happy to share the goodness. More food forests!

Sounds like a neat book. Be well

Omg, wow. That's inspirational!

My husband was born and raised in Florida but he never heard of the peanut butter fruit. He loves peanut butter and I bet he'd grow it, if it grew here in New England! :))

I hadn't heard of it either. To be honest it tastes only kinda sorta like PB. There are a lot of fruit I'd grow if I lived in FL, but every region has their special plants for sure.