Food Forest

A small quarter-acre lot at the corner of 55th and Mastin streets in Merriam, Kansas is home to one of just a few food forests in the country.

Planted in 2011, with the support of a grant from the National Audubon Society and Toyota, the thriving site is home to 39 varieties of fruit and nut trees and 12 different shrubs — both familiar and unfamiliar to the public. They include: apple, plum, peach cherry, pawpaw, Chinese chestnut, persimmon, fig, elderberry, serviceberry and Siberian pea, just to name a few. These plants work in harmony to benefit each other. Some are nitrogen fixers for the soil, others attract beneficial insects or repel unwanted pests.

Each year, this food forest continues to provide valuable lessons to the community and helps our farmers discover more about permaculture, which is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

food-forest-map

Historical Timeline

2010
Site tilled and seeded with white clover. Swales formed. Soil tests showed 2.9% organic matter.

2011
Apple, pear, plum, peach, cherry, pawpaw, jujube, Chinese chestnut, persimmon, fig, elderberry, goumi, tilia, persimmon, sea buckthorn, serviceberry, Siberian pea planted.

2012
Blackberry, aronia, blueberry, raspberry, gooseberry, goji, rhubarb and walking onions planted.

2013
Hazelnut, more pawpaws, lemon balm, oregano, golden Alexanders and peppermint planted.

2014
Thyme, sage, Fresh sorrel, sea kale, strawberries, comfrey, garlic and chives planted.

2015
Soil tests showed 5.7% organic matter.

Location

5424 Mastin St.,
Merriam, KS

Please note: This farm is not open to the public. To visit the Food Forest, please submit a Tour Request Form (below).

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Tour Request Form