We talk with Jim Gale to discuss his organization Food Forest Abundance, dedicated to food ecosystems for the individual and family through establishing yards and urban fields for growing agricultural provisions, to improve self-reliance and connection with the land.
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The Way to Food Forest Abundance
Many people are aware of the Victory Gardens that were hallmarks of the first two world wars, where people in the United States and other countries were growing food at home to supplement rations, reduce pressure on the food supply and lift morale.
We are in an analogous moment now, having experienced food security and supply chain issues during the pandemic, the urgency of climate change as evidenced by flash floods and intensive wildfires, as well civil wars, economic and humanitarian crises. Uncertainties about energy, overburdened and aging power grids, and rising food costs are all perfect motivations to grow food at home. During the pandemic, a quiet gardening boom began. Now, it is estimated that roughly 42% of people are growing their own food.
A food forest is a diverse, perennial garden that mimics a forest ecosystem and patterns found in nature. Through layers of design, life extends in all directions producing food, medicine, sanctuary, and habitat. Food forests incorporate seven layers of edible plants including fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, rhizomes, mushrooms, and perennial vegetables. A food forest is thoughtfully designed to produce maximum nutrition, beauty, and abundance. A food forest does not require much space, even as little as 700 square feet.
Food forests are a means to reconnect to the world around us, establish resilient communities, benefit the ecosystem overall, vitalize our health, and restore habitat for pollinators and our animal relatives.
In this episode, Jim Gale, CEO and Chief Storyteller of the organization Food Forest Abundance, shared about the potential of thriving food forests to meet and transcend the issues of our times.
After planning the concept of abundance gardening for over 15 years, Jim Gale launched his Food Forest Abundance program on Earth Day 2021. Gale, a permaculturist, encourages everyone to ditch their grass-filled front and back lawns and replace them with an edible forest. Food Forest Abundance works with many institutions across the US and fifteen countries including schools, universities, hospitals, community centers, parks, as well as homeowners associations, restaurants, and others.
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Hosted by Carry Kim
Intro by Jack Eidt
Engineer and Original Music: Blake Quake Beats
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Photo credit: Food Forest Abundance
Updated 1 February 2023