Welcome to Carolinian Food Forest! This 1 acre experimental forest is planted on public park land in London Ontario in the beautiful Thames River valley. This blog is intended to inform you about our project as well as provide enough detail and inspiration to help you build your own food forest in the community you live in.

What is a Food Forest?

Think of a forest near where you live - does anybody water it? Till the soil? Weed it? Nobody does because it is a self sustaining ecosystem. A food forest mimics the pattern and structure of a natural forest but the plants are deliberately selected to provide food, medicine and other things for us. There are also plants included that are there to support the whole, or the system, through the release of nitrogen and other nutrients into the soil, or by performing natural pest control. Most species perform more than one role.

There are seven layers in a food forest. This allows much higher food production from a given area than the monocultural fields where most of our food is grown these days. 

The Carolinian Ecosystem

The Carolinian Zone is the name for the type of ecosystem that originally covered London and southwestern Ontario. It is a rich habitat with more tree species than any other region in Canada, and more than half of all bird species found in Canada. It represents less than 1% of the country’s land mass but 1/3 of our rare and endangered species. It is home to exotic sounding species like the Tulip Tree and Kentucky Coffee Tree. This project uses only native Carolinian species. See the Carolinian Canada Coalition for more detail on the uniqueness of this ecosystem and the flora and fauna found in it.

Actualization Committee

Trevor Johnson (City of London), Vanessa Kinsley (City of London), Celeste Lemire (community member), Paul Heidenheim (community member), Mary Starnaman (Crouch Neighbourhood Association), Jessica Robertson (Wild Craft Permaculture), Elaine van Tol (ReForest London), Amber Cantell (ReForest London), Julie Ryan (ReForest London), Richard Vuksinic (Enriched Roots Naturopathy)

Stewardship Committee

Vanessa Kinsley (City of London), Celeste Lemire (community member), Mary Starnaman (Crouch Neighbourhood Association), Stanislav Rajic (Crouch Neighbourhood Association), Jessica Robertson (Wild Craft Permaculture), Richard Vuksinic (Enriched Roots Naturopathy), Natalie Hebert (community member), Shane Tarry (community member), Jayme Cannon (community member), Elinor Schwob (community member)


Hamilton Road Neighbourhood Association, Thames Secondary School, Lester B. Pearson School of the Arts, Trafalgar Public School, Friends of the Coves, London Nature, Transition London Ontario, Transition Middlesex.

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