Weekly Food Forest Tours! Fruits, Veggies, and More! :)

I recently decided to start making weekly videos of my food forest (mostly fruit trees right now). It should be interesting to see how it progresses. I’d love to have you join me for the journey! :smiley:

I’m trying to grow the fruit and other plants as naturally and low cost as possible. I’ll be using strategies like trying to select disease and pest resistant varieties, growing a diverse range of plants that will be mutually beneficial to each other, creating rich and healthy soil to strengthen the natural disease and pest resistance of the plants, and trying to capture and hold water in the landscape, as no irrigation will be used.

It definitely isn’t where I want it to be yet, but creating and building on it should be a fun part of the journey!

I plan to break up each week into a few parts and post a video about every other day. I just finished the first week, and I’ll post the video and summaries below.

You can subscribe to my Youtube channel HERE and hit the red SUBSCRIBE button and click the BELL to get an email for each new video!

I hope to see you in the food forest!



Welcome to my food forest!

To get a little background of my food forest, it covers about 1/3 of an acre. I’m trying to grow as many plants as I can in the available growing area that I have. At this time, about half of it consists of a natural garden and grape vine trellises that I hope to transition into food forests soon! Some of the fruit trees were planted a few years ago, but most of them are just one year old. I also hope to plant a lot more soon!

In this first video I give just a brief overview of my growing area and check out the blueberries growing along the edge of my property. They are blooming extra early this year, hopefully they’ll survive! :slight_smile:

It’s a work in progress! I don’t have a whole lot of free time, so some weeks, I may not even have a chance to work in it at all. My goal is to create growing systems that will have no problem going without human intervention for an extended period of time if necessary, and will eventually be set up to hopefully thrive all by themselves! I’ll try to give an estimate each week of how long I’ve worked on it and what I’ve done.

Come join me on this wonderful journey of creating a healthy, natural, beautiful, abundant, and fun food forest journey. I’m excited to go on this journey together!

I’d love to hear your comments, or if these videos are helpful, or if you’d like them to continue!


Part 2 for 2/9/20, and this video heads into the main section of my existing food forest.

I have two established peach trees that had been pruned a few years ago using conventional pruning techniques. However, now I’m trying to encourage them into a more natural peach tree (or bush) shape.

I have a young unpruned peach tree that was planted about one year ago that really thrived this past year during its first growing season. It grew up from only about two feet tall to over six feet tall and sent out numerous side shoots that are almost that tall, and I love its naturally bushy shape. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the side branches are from the rootstock. I want to keep it’s natural shape, but the rootstock branches weren’t as healthy as the main variety. I’ll probably remove these shoots as much as I don’t want to. Decisions, decisions. :slight_smile:

I have a young peach tree that came up by itself, probably planted by squirrels that took some peaches from the nearby larger peach trees. Wow, I’ve been amazed at the growth and healthiness of this young seedling. It grew to over six feet tall its first year from seed, and it was growing in a pretty wet area, not very ideal for a peach tree, but it exploded with growth nonetheless! Hopefully it will produce delicious peaches also, then it’ll really be awesome! I didn’t see any flower buds on it, so it might produce its first crop next year.

I’ve been creating the backbones of some fruit tree guilds for some of my fruit trees using blueberries. At first, I planted the blueberries too far away from the trees, but I have recently transplanted them closer this winter, and I’m excited to see how they like their new home!

The fruit tree mounds are working perfectly so far, holding lots of water and letting it drain slowly into the soil near the drip line of the branches, while creating well draining soil closer to the tree. Here’s a link to the first video of a few that show a general demonstration of how I make these.

Surprise red shouldered hawk encounter! He didn’t sound too happy. I think I must have disturbed his afternoon nap or either scared away his lunch. :slight_smile:

Sweet cherries are said to be really hard to grow here, but I love cherries, so I’m giving it a go anyways. My larger two cherry trees are doing well and might even produce a few cherries this year. They’ve struggled with a few minor disease issues, but have come through pretty well. I’ve found that ensuring that they get well drained, healthy organic rich soil has helped them fight off disease issues.

I have a lone paw paw tree right now. It had a partner that was planted about a year ago, but didn’t end up making it. It’s got a few flower buds this year, so maybe there’s a hidden paw paw in the woods to pollinate it.

Two small serviceberries are doing ok and growing slowly in a pretty shady area, and I may transplant them soon to a spot with more sun to see if that gives them a boost!


This video is part 3 of the weekly food forest tour for 2/9/20.

A young first year apple tree sent up two main vigorous shoots. I’ll probably pull the smaller one down, closer to the horizontal to train it to be a side branch. By training the tree instead of pruning it, I hope to encourage the tree to take on a more natural shape of growth. If I pruned the tree, it would most likely send up a lot more vigorous shoots growing straight up to the sky. By training the tree, and keeping the branch and not cutting it off, the tree should regulate its growth back to a manageable natural growth this year, that should be a more open and spread out shape.

A tiny cherry tree is hanging in there. Maybe it will put on some good growth this year?

I have a few young, one year old plums and a lot of one year old apple trees that had different rates of growth this year. It’s interesting how some of them have grown more than others.

I need to transplant a plum, that is right beside a pomegranate that is a few years old, to a new spot soon.

Eventually I would love to connect the ditches of my fruit tree mounds and create more seasonal pools to help capture and soak in more rainfall.

A large pear tree was the only fruit tree here when I purchased the property. I could tell it had never really been cared for and had lots of unruly growth. I tried to correct it and overpruned it a few years ago, when I thought it should be more well behaved, before I discovered natural farming. It replied with more waterspouts than I could have imagined. It also hardly produced any pears for the next few years and was more susceptible to fireblight than before it was pruned. I have left it to its wild ways recently, and it is finally starting to produce pears again and was a lot more resistant to fireblight this past year.


Welcome Steve. over the last 5-6 years I’ve been converting my wifes 3/4 acre lawn into a food forest. so far I’ve planted over 50 types of fruit, nuts and mecinidals mostly in strait rows the length of the lawn. i also grow on mounds or raised beds for some plants as my rocky hard clay soil tends to kill most fruit trees from poor drainage. i also apply wood chips about 4in. think every spring to the whole length of the rows. it keeps weeds out, looks good, helps build the soil and hold water. the rows are about 10ft apart so i can get a mower in between. hopefully once it grows in, the trees will shade out the grass. I’m still adding a few trees and bushes but now I’m mostly concentrating on ground covers to fill in the wood chip covered ground over time. so far i have alpine strawberries, low bush blueberries, chives, arctic raspberries , rhubarb and comfrey in there. planing to add creeping thyme, wild onion and several other perennial wildflowers and mecidinals. i suggest you try some u of sask romance series sour cherries. they are bush type, very hardy and disease resistant compared to sweet cherries and actually have more brix than sweet cherries but also more acidity. i have 4 right now carmine jewel, juliet and romeo. a lot have mentioned on here to plant mulberry to keep the birds from targeting your other fruit so i added 2. I’m putting in 4 siberian pea shrubs as they are nitrogen fixers and as feed for my chickens. they are very easy to grow from seed. i have 6 growing in my grow room right now. their seed can be used as a survival food as its 26% protein. I’ve taken a survivalist approach to my food forest as our ancestors once had to. every plant i put in there is either food or has a mecinidal use should me and my family need it. if it isn’t used thats ok. but if someday if it is needed i have access to it. theres so many plants out there that can help treat us internally and externally that barely any one nowadays knows about. i encourage you to read up on them and plant some yourself in your food forest. keep up the good work! your on the right path. imagine if everyone planted a food forest on their little section of land how much we could help our environment. its like a little sanctuary for wildlife as well. good luck! i will be following and commenting on this thread. :wink:


heres a list of what i planted so far. most grow down your way as well. mulberry, red, white, black currant, strawberries, blueberries , lingonberries, cranberry, raspberries, apples, plums, pears, hazelnuts, aronia, sour cherries, thimbleberries, salmonberries, serviceberry, dewberry, blackberry, gooseberry, honey berry, spikenard, jerusalem artichoke, arctic kiwi,schisandra berry, ground nut, turkish plantain, chives, mountain mint, comfrey and rhubarb. some of these i have multiple cultivars of. on the outer wild edge of my property i have high bush cranberry, chokecherry growing and i cultivate winecap and blewit mushrooms in my compost pile and under my big spruces as well as growing out of my wood chip mulch around all my plants.


That sounds like an awesome food forest moose71!

Thanks for the sour cherry variety recommendations, will probably get a few of those to plant this Fall. It’s hard to beat a good cherry cobbler or cherry pie. :slight_smile:

I’ve got some seeds for a few medicinals and other ground covers that I hope to plant soon. A lot of these plants will be new to me, so it should be interesting to see how they do here.

Like you said, food forests not only provide human food and medicinal plants, but also lots of great habitat and food for wildlife.

Thanks for the comments and info!

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That’s an awesome list of plants btw! I’d like to try some hardy kiwi soon here and see how they do.

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Great looking stuff Steve!
I wanted to mention that, in my experience, hardy kiwi are super easy to propagate and are vigorous growers.
If you want to save some $ and don’t need them urgently, it is easy to get away with only buying one or two of each type you want and propagating as many as you want from there in only a couple of years.
I could have saved a bunch of money if I’d realized this before buying so wanted to share!

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Thanks Viridian!

Great tip, I’ll definitely try it that way to save some money, thanks for sharing it! :slight_smile:

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This video is part 4 and the final video of the week’s food forest tour for 2/9/20.

A plum from the big box stores wasn’t what it was supposed to be.

I don’t think I’ll use fruit protector bags in the future. The squirrels and birds still found a way to destroy the fruit.

I hope to eventually connect all of the ditches in the fruit tree mounds and create pools in between them to capture and hold extra water.

One of my older and larger apple trees was struggling with powdery mildew, so I cut it off about 4 feet from the ground, and I was going to harvest the wood to possibly use it to carve something. However I decided to give it one last chance, and when it started growing again, it grew almost 10 feet during the year and barely has any powdery mildew anymore.

Next to this apple tree is a black locust tree that I planted last year, and it grew over 5 feet its first year. Maybe it helped out the apple tree some. It sent out multiple good sized branches and seemed to like its location in a pretty wet area, but it also gets much drier during the Summer and Fall.

One of my plum trees fell over. It was a pretty big tree when I got it, and it never had a great root system. It was about 5 feet tall or taller when I got it. It seems like smaller trees have done a lot better for me and have got established a lot faster and have grown quicker and have been healthier overall.

One warm climate mulberry has a good amount of winter die back. Hopefully some of the larger branch will survive or will at least come back from the roots. Another mulberry grew a good amount and has some healthy buds about to sprout. The final mulberry is the one you may have seen in some of my other videos. It grew from 2 feet to over 10 feet tall during its first growing season!

An apple tree I purchased turned out to be a hawthorn I think, still trying to decide what to do with it.

Thanks for joining me during this first week of tours of my food forest! I can’t wait for everything to be in bloom soon and really start growing! I’ll see you for week two’s videos! :slight_smile:

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so nice you can walk around your property. mines under 6ft. of snow.

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I wish we had a little snow here, maybe not 6 ft. but maybe 1 or 2. :slight_smile:

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I enjoy watching virtual tours of what other folks are growing. I’ve been doing something similar. I have certain areas of the property devoted to just cultivated fruits and nuts, but in other I’m doing what is basically a food forest. A mix of native fruiting and nut plants. Those areas are mainly for wildlife habitat.

I also start lots of my plants from seed. You can get a lot more bang for your buck vs buying plants - if you don’t mind being patient.

Steve, where are you located?


Sounds like a neat growing area Rob.

I’m in eastern NC.

Yeah I think growing fruit trees from seed creates an amazing opportunity to select and develop new locally adapted varieties, to naturally grow well in the weather and climate of the area, and have disease and pest resistance based on the area.

My ultimate goal is to have a good mix of existing named varieties, lots of selected new seedling varieties that will hopefully thrive in my area, and have other plants all growing together providing mutual benefits to one another.

I hope to eventually set up the system so it can thrive by itself with almost no input from me. Hopefuuly I’ll get there one day. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the comment Rob!

This video is part 1 for 2/16/20.

The natural garden area’s natural (weeds) cover crop seems to be getting thicker. I haven’t planted anything in it yet for this year.

Last week during the tour I skipped over the grape vines (whoops! :slight_smile: ), so I decided to start with them for this week’s tour.

I have a few seedless grape vines planted that are just getting started producing a crop, and I’d like to add a lot more seeded grape varieties and grow out the seeds to breed new varieties of grapes! I also have two muscadine varieties growing. One variety has done amazing and produced tons of delicious grapes, and the other has produced barely any, and the grapes it’s produced so far have just been so so.

The critters definitely liked the grapes too. There were so many muscadines on that vine this Fall, if it was just one critter that ate them, they had to have one large stomach ache after eating all that. :slight_smile:

I’ve cut down two of my grape vines that I didn’t like how they tasted and hope to replace them with some better varieties soon!

This video is part 2 of the food forest tour on 2/16/20.

The blueberry bushes are in different phases of blooming! Some still just have flower buds, and on others the white flowers are starting to show. Sometimes the weight of ripening blueberries determines the shape of the blueberry bush. Some bushes are bushy, and some are tall and open at first.

I skipped the pomegranates in the first week’s tour, so they make their grand debut! Rabbits love nibbling on pomegranates during the winter if they can get to them or if they are growing alone out in the open. Working one handed is challenging. :slight_smile: My pomegranates are growing really close together right now, trying to decide if I want to move them or not.

I’ve got a growing mound with some peach seeds that I planted last summer. I probably need to put a fence around it to keep the critters from bothering it or pulling up the young peach trees when they hopefully sprout soon!

This video is part 3 of the food forest tour on 2/16/20.

One peach tree has started blooming a little bit. I think I’ve decided to prune off the multiple rootstock branches on the young peach tree which weren’t as healthy as the main variety’s branches were. The seedling peach tree is already starting to leaf out. I wonder if it is going to bloom really early too when it starts blooming? It would be nice if it was a late bloomer to avoid our late Spring frosts here.

One of my cherry trees had a bad disease on one of its branches, and it was so bad I was about to prune it off. However I built a mound around the tree to help create well draining soil around it, and within a week it had made an extreme turn for the better, and after a few weeks it was almost completely healed over! I didn’t do anything else to the tree after building that mound. What an amazing example of trees and plants being able to heal themselves if we do our part to help create the best environment for them to thrive!

The flower buds are starting to swell on the paw paw.

I need to transplant the serviceberries soon if I’m going to do it this year. I may just leave them one more year where they are and see how they do.

I started digging a small pool, but decided another spot would be more beneficial to have one at the moment, and I hope to start digging it out soon!


Steve, can you speak to what camera you are using on your tours? Hand held or mounted?


I use a Galaxy S10+ phone, and I hold it in my hand and film. I really like its image stabilization feature, which makes the video look stable and not shaky.

I’ve been impressed by the quality of pictures it takes too. Sometimes its hard to get it to focus on plants for videos and pictures without a background behind it, but it focuses on people really well.

I’ve always had a cheap phone until I got this one last year. I finally convinced myself to get it when I realized I would be taking a lot of videos and pictures with it and using it for my on the go internet needs. I hope to use it till it falls apart. :slight_smile:

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