January 2024 Newsletter

Food Forests  

There are 7 layers to a proper food forest:


1. Canopy - large fruit & nut trees

2. Understory - Dwarf fruit trees 

3. Shrubs - currants & berries

4. Herbaceous - herbs, perennials and self seeding annuals

5. Rhizosphere - root crops

6. Ground cover - strawberries, squash, clover

7. Vertical - vines



 Unlike regular vegetable gardens, a food forest only needs to be designed once because the majority of it does not need to be replanted every year. It does evolve over time and may need to be adjusted as the trees in the canopy layer grow and cast more shade over the land. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly research and plan your forest, and even consider taking classes before you begin digging. In the beginning, consulting with experienced individuals who have knowledge of food forests can provide valuable insights on the best plants to grow. These plants should ideally be suited to your climate and serve multiple purposes. For example, they may be edible, nitrogen fixing, attract beneficial bugs, have medicinal qualities, and provide habitat for wildlife.


 Installation of the design can be planted in stages in order to not get overwhelmed.  Bareroot fruit trees are a great choice for those looking to start the canopy/understory layer of their food forest.  They are a budget-friendly option compared to potted trees. Our bareroot fruit trees are suited to the climate and conditions of Eastern Ontario. This is because they are grafted on cold hardy, semi-dwarf root stock, which ensures that they are strong and healthy from the beginning. 


Name: Louisa Visser

Job Title: Greenhouse Lead Hand

Describe the Position:  Monitoring growth and  maintaining health of greenhouse grown seedlings.

What Do You Love About Your Job:  Best Job I ever had! With a great team to work with.  Nice to know there is a bigger purpose to my overall job.

Why did you choose to work at FTN:  Went to school for horticulture and had already worked for a landscaping company and flower farm.  I wanted a different experience within the same field.

Best Thing About FTN:  Specializing in bareroot seedlings are native to this area.

Favorite Tree: Tamarack    Shrub: Spice Bush   Perennial: Coreopsis