Patrick is in Sydney and visited the Food Forest with family friend Josh Bowes, who generously helped with the initial planting back in July. They found fungi, edible weeds, an abundance of leaf vegetables, thriving fruit and nut trees, and evidence of dynamic social engagement.
A mushroom (perhaps don’t eat) and some onion weeds (use as chives in a salad) spontaneously inhabit the forest floor, while rhubarb has been harvested to be used as an organic spray.
All these things show that humans and nonhumans are participating in this garden autonomously, and as a result this little food forest system (based upon permaculture principals) really appears to be working. Residents are bringing in their compost, harvesting plants and herbs to eat, while some are using plants to make organic sprays to allay pests. The woody mulch has, with spring warmth and rain, created humidity in the soil that fungi adores. Fungi in a forest floor is a great sign of soil health and, as gardeners will know, if the soil is healthy plants are less prone to pests. Growing plants in a polyculture using companion planting methods also assists the garden’s health and allays pests and disease.