Edible food forest feeds into self-sufficiency
Robin Venezia and son Isaac pick borage leaves from the mulch around the newer portion of their edible food forest.
Story & photos by Samantha Bridgman
Seven years ago, Robin Venezia and her husband Chuck moved into the 274-year-old home on Massachusetts Avenue in Lunenburg. Inspired by the house and its considerable history and past, the Venezias and their two young sons Alexander and Isaac began an edible food forest in order to become more self-sufficient and to be good stewards of the land.
“I started researching three years ago and began implementing what I’ve learned in the past two years,” said Venezia.
Her interest in the subject began in her youth, when she first began gardening and foraging.
“My mother liked having fruit trees and grew some vegetables and my father wanted us to know where our food came from,” said Venezia.
Venezia has lived everywhere from southern California to the suburbs of Wakefield and is delighted to finally have a home that has 2-acres of land.
“We had a couple blueberry bushes in Wakefield, but it was a crowded space and we didn’t have the proper tools [we needed] for forest gardening,” said Venezia.
“I know there are people who have edible landscapes but I haven't met anyone locally who has used the phrase 'edible food forest',” said Venezia who would be excited to find others in the community interested in permaculture or “permanent agriculture”.
The core philosophies of permaculture include care for the earth, sustainable and responsible use of the earth as well as care for people and the sharing of resources and knowledge. Permaculture practices eliminate the need for fossil fuel consumption, a major concern for Venezia.
“It’s widely accepted that there will come a time when fossil fuels will simply run out - why not prepare for the inevitability and become independent?” said Venezia whose goal is to develop her home food forest to the point that it is no longer necessary to purchase things such as mulch, or to burn fossil fuels to obtain food.
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