Growing Food Hidden in the Forest


food forest layersRick Austin has not planted a garden in years, yet he plops 3 to 6 gallons of fresh-picked fruit and vegetables every day onto the kitchen counter for preparing or storing.

Often, Austin’s gathering binges prompt his wife to say, “Stop! I can’t keep up with you,” as she readies the harvest for dehydrating, canning or eating.

Outside their Appalachian off-grid home in North Carolina, the Austin’s carved out a completely natural, perpetual garden spot from the mature oak and pine forest. With the help of a hired bulldozer, in one afternoon they cleared a half acre right down to rock and red clay – the kind that turns to brick in hot, dry weather.

The Austins sold the hardwood, milled the pine for building materials and used the brush and rotted logs to construct berms for hillside terraces. Then, after all available soil was pushed into place, they began planting.

No straight, even, meticulously groomed rows of beans, corn and onions designate the area as a garden plot, however. In fact, whether from a distance or nearly atop the vegetation, it is almost impossible to realize a garden exists there at all. Which is precisely the idea, Austin, an author, told me when I called to inquire about his book, Secret Garden of Survival – How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest.

Rather than following traditional, modern plans that rely on planting annuals in Army-formation-style rows or boxy raised beds, the Austins instead mimicked nature and harvesting methods thousands of years old. Before modern agriculture and the invention of mechanized farm machinery, most of mankind foraged for food.

7/9/2013 1:08:37 PM



Why did you post this crap here? The Mittleider method is high intensity, high effort and high tech gardening. The the exact OPPOSITE of what this article is about.

Did you even bother to read it or did you just SPAM it with this crap because it was about gardening?



7/3/2013 12:09:11 PM

For those with large spaces, forests, etc. this article may be an excellent idea.  

Watering may be a problem if it fails to rain, and you have no source of water nearby.

And for the 98% of us who do NOT have large property holdings I recommend a much more efficient system of growing - one that can feed a family of 4 on less than 1/20th of an acre  

It's taught by The Food For Everyone Foundation - a public charitable organization - and there's tons of free information on their website  They also have Groups (free) on (MittleiderMethodGardening) and Mittleider Gardening on Facebook.

Amazing YouTube videos by LDSPrepper give you detailed instructions - also free.

And their promise to the world is "a great garden in any soil - or no soil - and in any climate.

Jim Kennard

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