Foodscaping – The Beautiful Art Of Sustainable Self Sufficiency

Growing your own food never looked, or tasted, this good.

It’s a rising trend that is bringing kiwi gardening aficionados to their knees – literally. A growing number of gardeners are being spotted over the neighbors’ fences, faces beaming with creative zeal, eyes manically gleaming as they dig and plant and cut their way to a fruit and vegetable utopia.

The shackles of supermarket fresh food reliance can be heard dropping like heavy raindrops in a rising crescendo of earthy thuds as gardens across New Zealand are taking shape. Gardens that not only sustain and feed their cultivators, but that also look so very well designed.

Foodscaping is the term coined to describe a veritable renaissance of the traditional approach to gardening. Whereas the vegetable garden used to form a neat little square somewhere in the garden itself, with foodscaping, the whole back yard becomes the vegetable garden.

Power to the people

As awareness around the farming practices around big corporate agriculture grows, the appeal of untethering oneself from reliance on controversial farming practices and the consumption of foods treated with inorganic pesticides and herbicides, is far more appealing to gardeners – particularly the younger generation.

The benefits of controlling what goes onto your dinner table and into yours and your families mouths is something that almost every responsible home owner is becoming aware of. Foodscaping, whilst more labour intensive than relying on supermarket produce, is notably safer, more economical and healthier.

Chemically modified produce, GMO’s, and overall inferior food choices that result from shopping in supermarkets look set to become a thing of the past for those who choose to foodscape their gardens. The approach of transforming your garden into one big, well designed, beautiful vegetable garden where you can grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs in sustainable and organic ways, is full of benefits on practically every level.

Pretty and productive

Whilst foodscaping is primarily a utilitarian endeavour, it can be extremely beautiful too. All it takes is a small amount of educating yourself as to which plants not only look attractive, but are also great to eat.

Dogwoods, hostas, service berries, and even Japanese roses are not only easy on the eye but they are also edible. It is this creative and clever blend of planting plants that fulfil both the aesthetic as well as nutritional roles that provide the secret of success in an effectively foodscaped garden.

There is a lot more to foodscaping however than simply ripping up flower beds, peeling away the lawn and planting a forest of edible plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables – it takes a careful and planned approach geared toward creating a garden that is able to sustain itself.

An emerging business

Careful thought needs to be given not only to what plants, fruit trees, bushes and vegetables to include, but also where and how to position them, how to arrange the water supply effectively and building an infrastructure of supportive plants and shrubs. And it all needs to be done in a way that enhances the beauty and appeal of the garden as a whole.

This is why landscaping firms are rapidly adapting to incorporate foodscaping plans and services into their product range. The thinking for anyone who would use a landscaper now is, why not foodscape instead? It is affordable and if done right it will lead to a garden that is easier to maintain and far more productive than any regular garden with just the one vegetable patch.

Traditional gardening isn’t going anywhere, yet

But, foodscaping is not for everyone. Many households following the ‘grow your own food’ dictum still see the value on keeping a well maintained regular garden with a special area dedicated to a vegetable garden. Perhaps there is wisdom to be found in starting out small, growing an effective veggie patch first before embarking on the gardening revolution to toward the total self-sustenance that a foodscaped garden affords.

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