What's New

Jacob Sell Hicks / Janet Gee
Three people working with leaves on a garden plot
Anna Hardiman
December 6, 2023
Cultivating harmony with nature: An edible landscape at IRLC

The Indian River Lakes Conservancy and the ACS Adventure Club are teaming up to create an edible garden inspired by Dani Baker’s book, “The Home Scale Forest Garden,” at the Indian River Lakes Conservancy’s Redwood Hill Preserve. “Let’s shine a light on sustainable eating practices that promote conservation and harmony with nature,” said Anna Hardiman, IRLC Outreach Coordinator.

But what exactly is an edible landscape? It’s a diverse planting of edible plants that mimics natural ecosystems and patterns. These gardens promote the planting of native species beneficial to ecosystems and take a holistic approach by integrating different species across various layers of the forest.

“To start, we need fertile soil,” explained Anna. The ACS and IRLC teams prepared the ground by laying cardboard, covering it with fallen leaves, and topping it off with hardwood chips.

Unlike traditional gardens, forest gardens have multiple dimensions and are designed to be cooperative, featuring plants of varying heights, seasonality, and benefits across forest floor, mid-story, and canopy layers.

You’re invited to join in and help plant this spring, as the soil becomes ready to welcome new life. Local growers will assist in stocking the area with native plants like june berry trees, hazelberts, raspberries, and violets, beneficial to both the environment and resident wildlife.

The Adventure Club from Alexandria Central School is all about outdoor activities, learning, and lending a hand together. This marks their second visit to Redwood Hill Preserve, with plans to explore the trails at Grand Lake Reserve soon. To learn more about the club, contact Robin Rodash at rrondash@acsghosts.org.

Get inspired by Dani Baker’s book at enchantededibleforest.com. Her writing and Enchanted Edible Forest on Wellesley Island, NY ignited the spark for this project!