Marina Place Food Forest

Terri and Steve

Food Forest Keepers

My wife and I lived in Concord for 26 years and recently moved to Benicia. We removed all the lawn at the Concord house and replaced both the front and the back yard and replaced them with dwarf fruit trees and raised vegetable beds.

On March 2013 we moved to Benicia – and within months removed the lawn from the backyard and have replaced it with raised gardens – growing mostly vegetables.  The front yard, which is now our food forest, was a very unattractive and unproductive ornamental landscape that was out of control.

We enjoy gardening and often our garden is the center of our entertainment for friends. We also like to eat from the garden as much as possible and enjoy sharing our produce with friends.

We saw this as a way to expedite our plan of replacing our front yard with a productive, easily accessible yard that more reflects the two of us. We were also interested in learning more about permaculture. Originally we had planned to put in a mini orchard – but after learning more about food forests and permaculture we found this better suited our home.

Site Details

Basic Information

Front Yard Size: 700 ft2
Sun Exposure: Full sun, little shade year-round
Soil Type: Clay
Official Soil Test: Food Forest Soil Analysis

Design

Plants: Details to Come
Number of Swales: 2
Water Impact: Food Forest Water Analysis

P1100612-(1)WebInstallation

The installation began with coffee and light refreshments, and preparation of the site by David.  After digging swales and following more instruction, we had lunch and then planted the yard.

The installation far exceeded our expectations. Not only was a lot done in a short time, we also got to meet many other people that share our passion for gardening. We also learned more about swales.

Finally, we celebrated by toasting the avocado tree with champagne.  It was a great day of learning and fellowship.

View a time-lapse video of the installation!

Vision for the Future

We are putting in tanks to save rainwater and may build natural rock walls on the upper side of the swales to give us more growing area. We also plan to dig up the ditch that makes up the upper swale and put a perforated pipe with gravel, and cover it again in wood chips to better spread the runoff from the backyard to the front yard.

We now have a sitting area in the front yard and often visit with the neighbors as they pass by. The neighborhood kids are very intrigued by the garden and ask a lot of questions

Reflections

This was a great experience not only for the improvements to the garden but also to meet more of our neighbors. We are very glad we participated and look forward to many years of enjoyment of our garden.

See a gallery of Marina Place’s Food Forest photos here.

Upcoming Events

Jul
25
Tue
5:30 pm Mini Orchard Workday @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Mini Orchard Workday @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Jul 25 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Workdays are mandatory for Orchard members, but the public is welcome to come lend a hand at our monthly orchard workday, learn about orchard care taking and ask questions. Make sure to stay for a potluck and social[...]
5:30 pm Mini-Orchard Workdays @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Mini-Orchard Workdays @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Jul 25 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Sustainable Solano established a hillside community orchard in Benicia in 2014 that serves as an educational lab for the entire community on ecological small-scale orchard planting and management. The public is welcome to lend a hand at[...]
Jul
29
Sat
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Jul 29 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Jul 29 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]
2:00 pm What’s For Dinner? Vallejo @ John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo
What’s For Dinner? Vallejo @ John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo
Jul 29 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The next seasonal cooking workshop for Summer will be July 29th. In that workshop Chef Lisa will be teaching the group how to make fresh pesto sauce(s). In addition to the traditional basil and pine[...]