Edible landscaping is the design of farms, forests, yards and gardens featuring food-producing species fully integrated into a complete design (learn more here). We often refer to these landscapes as food forests as the forest ecosystem inspires our work. Resilient and abundant, forests teach us to embrace diversity in composing edible landscapes. Selecting plants of various sizes, harvest times, textures, flavors, colors, functions and lifespan, we can build multi-layered, soil-building, high-yield systems. We integrate these edible plants with hardscapes, water features, and an abundance of flowering plants used to help maintain the ecological balance of the land. The result is a harmonious design that integrates aesthetics and function. Once established, edible landscapes can provide a perennial source of food, fiber, fuel and shelter. We are again inspired by forests, which offer abundant harvests each year with no inputs. At Permaculture Artisans, we work with each client to ensure they understand the needs of young food forests and what is required to nurture them into robust, productive landscapes. Although harvesting will begin in the first year, a healthy food forest is expected to start yielding peak amounts of food in five to seven years. With proper maintenance, yields can continue almost indefinitely. This practice mirrors ancient agricultural practices of sequential agroforestry practiced by numerous indigenous tribes throughout the Americas. Their food forests were so abundant and lush, anthropologists mistook them for untended, wild jungle.