Skeetchestn Indian Band

On the Land Learning

Our School Gar​den

An excerpt from the article ​Farm to Cafeteria Canada :

“The school’s impressive food forest is layered with six large terraces, interconnected with a swale pathway that is mulched 2 feet deep with mixed arborist chips and bark mulch, which acts as a water harvesting system capturing snowmelt and rain. Each terrace or ‘berm’ is between 40 and 65 feet in length by 7-10 feet wide as they ascend the hillside.

Like any food forest, thoughtful planning has gone into the structure to ensure success: each level is set up as a guild of plants, with various fruits trees and foundational plants that are underplanted with companion shrubs and perennials; there are pears, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries and apples that are underplanted with a variety of berry shrubs, native and culturally appropriate plants, herbs, medicines, pollinators and more; the garden beds/berms are mulched heavily with wood chips, manure and compost; the borders are planted with garlic each year, and the outer edges have plants that deter wildlife. All the plants are layered with purpose, attracting birds and pollinators alike.”

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Excerpt Cont:

​“The principle behind food forestry is mimicking nature,” Shelaigh explains. “Through this we see how everything is connected, functions are stacked from soil building and water harvesting to planting in guilds (or the ‘buddy system’ as we like to call it!) of species that support each other.” She adds, “a food forest is kind of like accelerating a natural system, imprinting human interaction to get things rolling faster. And gradually over time it maintains itself as a self-sufficient ecosystem.”  

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