School gardens

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Food Forests, Permaculture, and the Future of School Gardens

While it seems everyone is singing the praises of school gardens these days, with the First Lady leading the choir, a niche is growing with the movement for deeper roots and even greater sustainability. School food forests are popping up in my town, and though in the sapling phase, they are sure to become an established part of the schools, an element that makes them enamoring and unique… not to mention green.

School Food Forests

A food forest is a garden made up mostly of perennials and trees. It is a term used most commonly in the system design methodology known as permaculture, the goals of which are to take care of the earth and its people, while providing a fair share to all. Known as an extremely low-input sustainable form of food production, permaculture emphasizes perennials (Ferguson and Lovell 2013). These trees and plants help to build soil through deep roots which host beneficial microorganisms, self-mulch through leaf litter, and provide habitat for wildlife and microclimates for other plants...

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