museum of discovery & science
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
welcome to our food forest garden!
May this place help you remember that you! can grow your own food right here in the middle of our tropical urban environment.
You are surrounded by oak trees, pond apple, and sabal palms. We are simulating the patterns of nature to grow food by stacking in layers.
Can you spot the layers that make up this forest? Start below the soil surface imagining the roots, then notice the plants covering the ground, moving up to smaller shrubs, ferns, climbing vines, understory trees, and finally, the canopy overhead.
This fence edge is home to 35 tropical fruit trees, medicinal plants, native wildflowers, tropical spinach and herbs, and rich soil life.
This place acts as a living classroom to reconnect with our living world and harvest resources like cuttings, seeds, and knowledge to spread across our community.
Have you struggled to grow food in the past? These plants are your ticket to becoming a successful grower! This garden is filled with tropical varieties of well-known herbs like basil, oregano, tarragon, garlic chives, and basil suited to grow well in our place. During the winter months we grow tomatoes here, as this is the best location on site for sunlight. If you see a ripe tomato, taste one!
Many of the foods we know and love depend on pollinators. Our pollinator garden is filled with native host and nectar plants to provide refuge to life passing through the heart of our urban environment and colorful beauty to museum visitors.
Not sure where to begin starting a garden? Here is an example of a “guild”. Guilds are filled with plants that grow well together. At the center of the guild is usually a fruit tree.
The understory is then filled with pollinator plants, living plant foods, “pest” repelling plants, ground covers, and herbs to stack functions and maximize space in a small area, creating a miniature food forest garden system.
How can we grow our own food without spending a penny? In our soil building station we transform local “waste” into fertility and grow “support species” to naturally supply essential elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to our soils.