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Forest Garden on McDonald Farm

TCF McDonald Farm signWe are designing and installing the FIRST FOREST GARDEN  in Naperville, IL on The Conservation Foundation McDonald Farm!

A forest garden is a gardening technique or land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes in plants which can include edible, medicinal, fiber, dye, and fuel  producing trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.  Companions or beneficial plants are included as insectaries, pest confusers, dynamic accumulators, nitrogen fixers, and mulch plants. Together they create relationships to form a perennial forest garden ecosystem able to produce high yields of food for human consumption, ultimately with minimal maintenance.

The McDonald Farm forest garden will be a demonstration design for people to interact with and learn from and serve as an inspiration for transforming suburban lawns.   We will also be using this project as a hands-on learning opportunity for our upcoming Permaculture Design Course, Food Forest Workshop, and Homestead Design Workshops.

We welcome volunteers who are interested in supporting this project and are available to donate skills and labor between August and October.

Enjoy the many photos Jodi and Karen took as they were collecting information for the site assessment.

Treeline that will become the forest garden
Treeline that will become the forest garden

Jodi identifying xxx
Jodi identifying goatsbeard

Thistle
Nodding Thistle

Bluebird
Barn Swallow

Treeline from another angle
Treeline from another angle

Rain barrel and rain garden at Clow House
Rain barrel and rain garden at Clow House

Mound of prairie dirt needing to be incorporated into treeline.
Mound of prairie dirt needing to be incorporated into treeline.

Rocks to move and find uses for
Rocks to move and find uses for

Area to be cleared once we get rid of the poison ivy.
Area to be cleared once we get rid of the poison ivy.

Iris growing in the treeline
Iris growing in the treeline

Thistle
Nodding Thistle. Beautiful, but still a THISTLE
Look what Karen found!
Karen found one of the farm residents:  Bufo Americanus