FOOD FORESTS & CULINARY GARDENS


DESIGN YOUR FOOD FOREST

FOOD FORESTS & CULINARY GARDENS


Our lead restaurant consultant, Jase Grimm, also has a permaculture design certificate and specializes in designing and implementing restaurant culinary gardens and food forests across the United States. Many environmental health departments across California permit restaurants to produce their food in a culinary garden on the property if it is not open to the public, and the restaurant has a cohesive food safety program for growing, harvesting, cleaning, and preparing the homegrown produce. By growing your fruits and vegetables, your restaurant can lower food costs, improve your menu item’s quality and freshness and invite your customers to your sustainability journey as growing your own food significantly reduces your restaurant’s carbon footprint.

 
In 2020, our sustainability consultants assisted River’s Bend Walnut Orchard in Red Bluff, California, to develop their organic orchard management program by taking a holistic approach to pest and weed management. The previous owners made a point of poisoning, trapping, and killing ground squirrels, which they considered problems for taking nuts and digging tunnels through the soil. With careful observation, a fundamental tenet of permaculture, designer Jase Grimm identified that the squirrels improved soil health by aerating the ground with their tunnels and reversing the compaction caused by years of heavy equipment running over the fields. By working with nature, not against it, they enjoyed their most extensive and highest walnut harvest in years, and wildlife, like this pheasant, has returned to the fields.

How Can We Help?...

  • Food Forest Design
  • Culinary Garden Design and Implementation
  • Homegrown Food Safety Plan

RESTAURANT CULINARY GARDEN


By applying the principles of permaculture, a sustainable agriculture field that focuses on creating zero waste and utilizing all resources to their fullest potential, our sustainability consultants helped design and implement this culinary food forest at Alderleaf Wilderness College in Monroe, WA, pictured below. The apple trees are the canopy layer in this garden design, with artichokes, rhubarb, and lovage forming the understory and plants like mint, vetch, and alpine strawberries creating the ground cover. Every plant in this food forest has a specific purpose and pollination, culinary, or practical advantage. Combining various trees, shrubs, and plants into a single planting allows them to work together and reduce the need for chemical inputs like fertilizers or pesticides.

The difference between food forests and traditional culinary gardens is that the former are relatively low maintenance and require little day to day inputs like irrigation, pest control, or weeding, and can be a hands-off food-producing option for busy restaurants.

This photo is a small culinary garden at the Demuth Community Center in Palm Springs, CA, that we based on the three sisters principle combining corn, beans, and squash in a permaculture guild. The corn acts as the garden stake, anchoring the vining squash, which is the shade/mulch plant, and the beans, which fix nitrogen into the soil and fertilize their sister plants, grow over all of them. Our sustainability consultants are ready to help your restaurant or small food business design and implement your food forest or culinary garden today.