Two experienced ecological consultants are leading a presentation Wednesday that looks at the ways people can change their landscapes and their yards to produce food forests. Highlands councillors Gord and Ann Baird grow enough fruits and veggies on their rocky hilltop in the Highlands to meet their needs year-round.
“Everything we do revolves around integrated sustainability,” Gord Baird says. Their two-story load-bearing cob house uses a grey water system, recycles rainwater, has a compost toilet system and is solar powered.
They get food year-round from 300 or so plants and trees in a acre of land, Baird says. “It’s a living laboratory, it represents a model as to what people can do to be more sustainable.” Aside from some bad humor, Baird says people can expect to learn about planting a natural ecosystem. “Food forestry is basically how we can mimic natural forest ecology but to use plants that are beneficial for food generation,” he says.
Just as there are many layers to a forest system, planting lemon trees, peppers and nut trees can help provide a regenerative, sustainable and integrated food system.
A copy of the presentation will be made available at eco-sense.ca. ‘Eat Your Landscape” begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17 at Metchosin Community House, 4430 Happy Valley Road. Admission is free.