Walk through Aloha Farms food forest

  Here is what’s Growing at Aloha Farms, listed Alphabetically

Almonds:  Delicious seeds of the almond fruits that grow on the almond tree. These are in season in late summer and early fall.

2 Almond Trees, May 2016 The small on on the left is 1 1/2 year old, the one on the right is 3 years old.
2 Almond Trees, May 2016 The small tree on the left is 1 1/2-year-old, the one on the right is 3 years old.
Almond Tree
Almond Fruit – like a peach, there’s a  pit inside the fruit, and the almond that we eat is inside the pit.

Aloe Vera:  This is always in season and we have an unlimited supply because it continually sends out new plants through the soil.

We use the juicy green insides of the leaves as skin lotion and the yellow/orange circulatory fluid as hair coloring.  We planted some starts from these plants in the front garden bed as well, so that if a passer-by is sunburned or hot, they can use a leaf to cool off their skin.  They are super easy to grow here.

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Aloe Vera in bloom, May 2016.  See movie below for more 🙂

Apples:     The apple tree is known around the world for its sweet, juicy fruit.  In the 1900’s, when we were growing up,  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”  was a commonly spoken phrase, and I’d like to add – “A fresh apple right off the tree makes me as happy as can be!”

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Fuji Apple Tree 3 years old
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Hidden Rose Pink-Fleshed Apple Tree – 1-year-old
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More Pink-Fleshed Apples on the way!
Juicy Apples!
Juicy Apples!

Apricots:  Relatives to peaches, apricots are small, golden orange fruits, with velvety skin, slightly juicy and smooth and sweet.

Apricots
Apricots growing on the tree

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Apricots and Nectarines
Nectarines on the left, Apricots on the right

 

Aloha Farms food forest Apricot Tree 5 years old March 2017
Apricot Tree 5 years old March 2017
Apricot Tree
Apricot Tree 3 years old – will lose its leaves in winter
Apricot Tree in Spring - each blossom will grow into an apricot fruit
Apricot Tree in Spring – each blossom will grow into an apricot fruit
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Apricot Tree 4 years old and growing happily 🙂

Artichokes:  These thistle-like plants grow the edible flowers we call artichokes.

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This is our first artichoke plant, which is only a couple of months old now in May 2016. We hope to see artichoke flowers this summer!
Aloha Farms food forest Artichokes March 2017
Artichokes March 2017 about a year old now – expecting a bigger crop this summer!
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Steaming fresh food forest grown artichoke and potatoes! Hooray food forest!

Bananas: Growing tall from spreading underground roots, creamy sweet bananas grow in clusters from the top of the plant.

Bananas!!!
Aren’t the colors of these new bananas gorgeous? Wow!
Bananas
Bananas
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We transplanted these young banana trees into a warm south-facing spot, from their original spot in part sun/part shade. They are multiplying well here, and creating many new young shoots that we can transplant into various other places in the food forest.

Basil:  Widely used cooking herb, and the flowers are full of seeds.  Basil is easy to grow from seed.

Basil Growing under Apple Tree
Basil Growing under Apple Tree

Beets:  So healthy for our bodies, both the leaves and the roots are edible.  We had around a gazillion beet seeds from a crazy huge beet plant last year, so we planted the seeds all over the food forest.

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Here you can see the beautiful dark red stems of the beet.
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Here’s a view from the top of the beet
Some of the beets got really big!
Some of the beets got really big!

 

 

 

 

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Here you can see the very large root of the beet, as well as the stalk shooting up to create seeds.

beet with new beets on stemsbeet growing new beets on stemsnew beets on old beet stem

This old beet started growing small beets on its stems, along with seeds!

Blackberries: bramble vines with delicious berries.

Blackberries
Blackberry vines and Harvested blackberries

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Blackberries ripening on the vine.

Brush Cherries Syzygium paniculatum:  These are part of a hedge that looks ornamental, but they are delicious to eat and very pretty.  I eat them sometimes while I’m working in the garden and they give me good energy.

Brush Cherries Growing as a hedge
Brush Cherries growing as a hedge

Carrots:
Not a great photo, but see all of the white flowers growing on this carrot?  Each flower grows hundreds of seeds, so from one seed, we got all of these carrot seeds – That’s an abundant return on investment!

Carrots Going to Seed
Carrots Going to Seed
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Here you can see the orange carrot just inside the soil

 

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Here’s an example of a carrot that grew in our hard clay soil. We are improving the soil, but we have a way to go. We had more success growing carrots and potatoes in potting soil in pots, this year, as you will see below. In September 2016 we seeded the whole food forest with carrots  hoping that the carrots will help improve the soil as they grow.

 

 

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This is funny! We had a bag of carrots from the store in the refrigerator, and we took them out and noticed they had tiny white roots all over them, so we decided to put them in a tall pot and see if they would grow. They took off growing vibrantly. The video below shows what happened!

 

 

Cherry of the Rio Grande (Eugenia Aggregata):
This is a type of cherry we can grow in our warm climate We tasted them at the Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery, where we bought this young tree – they are beautiful and tasty!

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Although it’s a small tree, we are hoping it will grow and produce lots of delicious cherries.

Citrus Royale or White Citrus:  This is probably a root-stock that was originally used for grafting a known citrus variety onto it, but sometimes the root-stock will overtake the graft and grow on its own.  We like it anyway, because it has mild-flavored, sweet juice and a wonderful unique citrus fragrance.  It’s stems are covered in huge thorns too – which turned out to be a great rabbit deterrent  when we placed some of the thorny stems in front of a hole that the rabbits use to pass into our yard.

Citrus Royale or White Citrus
Citrus Royale or White Citrus

Coffee:  We really love the coffee trees!  Their white blossoms are sweetly fragrant and the coffee cherries are delicious to eat fresh off of the tree when they’re ripe.  We also roast the beans and brew our own Delicious coffee.  We don’t always have beans though, so we hope to grow more trees using the ground-layering method. (The Ground Layering method is burying part of a stem that is still growing on the tree, and letting it form roots, then cutting the stem off from the tree and planting it in a different place).

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Coffee Cherries ripening on the tree
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The coffee tree in bloom – the white blossoms are sweetly fragrant

Corn:  One of our most successful crops, we have been enjoying eating corn and getting corn seeds for future harvests.

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We have small patches of corn growing in various places throughout the food forest May 2016.
Corn Harvest
Corn Harvest
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Corn Growing in the Middle Garden

Cutting Celery: This fun little herb has the celery leaves without the stalks.  We haven’t had success in growing celery yet, but this new little seedling is doing well.  It’s such a great flavor in soups and potato salad, etc.

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Cutting Celery

Fennel:
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Licorice flavored herb – delicious and useful in many recipes and great for snacking on raw.

Feverfew:  A pretty flower with gorgeous smelling leaves.  It’s fun to crush the leaves and enjoy the smell! Of course there are many uses for hair care and tea making.  

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Feverfew

 

Figs:  We planted three fig trees a year ago, and they’re already fruiting!  They will also provide shade for the blackberries, which are getting too much sun.

Young Fig Tree
Young Fig Tree
A Couple of Ripe Figs
A Couple of Ripe Figs

Flax:  These beautiful blue-flowering “weeds” volunteered themselves to grow in the front forest one day, and they turned out to be flax!  We eat the delicious, healthy seeds right off of the stems and even made a nifty whisk-broom with a bundle of the stems for sweeping the outdoor shower!

Dried Flax Seeds - ready to eat
Dried Flax Seeds – ready to eat
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Flax has beautiful blue flowers
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Flax likes to grow up among taller plants, which provide it some support. When it grows by itself, it tends to fall over and lay on the ground.

Garlic:  Spicy hot garlic green-tops and root bulbs make a great addition to many recipes and are very healthy to eat.  We have planted so much garlic all over the food forest that the turkeys couldn’t even begin to eat it all.   We harvested, dried, and stored many bulbs of garlic for use in cooking, and we’re now selling it in our farm stand.  Ours are spicier than the ones from the store.

Garlic Growing in the Middle Garden

Garlic Growing in the Middle Garden

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A few bulbs of garlic harvested in May 2016

Ginger: This healthy and delicious root is growing underground, and we will add pictures soon!

Goji Berry:  These berries are said to be a super-food – ours have flowered for 3 seasons and just this year have put out fruit!

Goji Berry
Goji Berry in 2015 – around 1 year old
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Goji Berry May 2016 – originally planted in April 2014 as a small seedling, so it’s about two years old here.
Goji Berry Flower
Goji Berry Flower
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Our first Goji Berry fruits appeared in May 2016, 2 years from planting the seedling.

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The Goji Berry is putting out running roots, and new starts are coming up from the roots.
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2 of the Goji Berry sprouts that we dug up and potted – 1 week later. We could have some ready for the farm stand soon!

Grapes:  Cabernet Sauvignon,  Red Flame Seedless

Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes
Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes Ripening
Young Grapes Growing
Young Grapes Growing – so cute!

Guava: Delicious pink-fleshed fragrant fruit will fill a room with fragrance and delight your taste buds!

Our first ripe guava - I started eating it and then remembered I have to take a picture!
Our first ripe guava – I started eating it and then remembered I have to take a picture!
Guava Tree
Guava Tree with the pink fruit
Another variety of Guava
Another variety of Guava
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Blossoms on the guava
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Guava Blossoms and Fruit

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Guava Fruit

Java Plum:  A tropical fruit tree we found at Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery in Vista it has a cherry-like fruit that we look forward to seeing.  Ours hasn’t fruited yet – it’s only a year old.

Young Java Plum - love the red new growth!
Young Java Plum – isn’t the red new growth fun?

Kale:  The popular veggie of the moment, these cabbage family members have been so easy to grow and look like little trees.

Kale Growing in a Row
Various types of Kale growing in the middle garden

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Lavender:  Grown for its fragrant flowers, which can be used to flavor food and drinks, or to make a room smell beautiful.

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lavender May 2016 – Bees hang out at the flowers all day every day
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2015

Lemon:  Such a lovely tree to have in the food forest!  Its blossoms are fragrant and the fruit is useful for cooking and cleaning and personal grooming.  This tree is 36 years old and still fruits year-round!

The Turkeys were enjoying the newly trimmed lemon tree
Here’s a shot of the turkeys enjoying the newly trimmed lemon tree
Lemon Tree November 2015
Lemon Tree November 2015
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Lemon Tree in May 2016

Lettuce: The leaves of the lettuce plant are a favorite of people and animals alike! One of our turkeys’ favorite treats, we initially grew it safely and well in the aquaponic growbed, and after getting lots of seeds from those plants, we planted seeds in the ground all over the forest too.  Now we have several types of lettuce growing in all states, from seedlings to mature plants creating seed.

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Lettuce growing in the aquaponic grow bed
Lettuce Going to Seed in the Aquaponic Grow Bed
Lettuce Going to Seed in the Aquaponic grow bed
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Lettuce Seedling May 2016
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This is how the romaine lettuce looks when it’s producing seeds. The leaves lose their green color and all of the energy goes into producing flowers, which then grow into seeds, which will then be planted and become the next generation of lettuce seedlings.
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Romaine lettuce seeds up close May 2016
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This is a mature red oak leaf lettuce plant growing its seeds.

Loquats:   We are so excited to have these unusual fruits growing here.  They are similar in flavor to apricots and are delicious right off the tree.  This young plant is around 1-year-old, and hasn’t produced fruit yet, but has grown amazingly well.

Loquat Tree
Loquat Tree
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Loquat Tree May 2016 – see how much it has grown in the last 6 months. Amazing that we saw all this growth without using store-bought fertilizers. All we use to feed the tree is the organic material covering the soil and an occasional sprinkling of epsom salt on the ground around the tree. Still no fruits as of May 2016, but hopefully this summer we will have some.

Macadamia Nuts:  There was a large macadamia tree already growing and fruiting here.

This unassuming tree is actually a macadamia nut factory!
This unassuming tree is actually a macadamia nut factory!
Macadamia Flowers smell sweet and wonderful
Macadamia Flowers smell sweet and wonderful, and later they grow into the Macadamia fruit, which has the nut inside.
Here are the macadamia nuts enclosed in their green fruit skins
Here are the macadamia nuts enclosed in their green fruit skins
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A bag full of freshly harvested macadamia nuts
These beautiful wooden balls are the macadamia nuts with their shells on. The shells are tough to crack, but the nuts inside are worth the effort.
These beautiful wooden balls are the macadamia nuts with their shells on. The shells are tough to crack, but the nuts inside are worth the effort.  We’ll add a picture of the nuts soon.

Mint:  Lovely mint – the popular herb used to flavor gum and candy and toothpaste.  We grow it in the herb garden and use it to flavor many things, from our baking soda toothpaste to drinking water or lemonade.  It’s also fun to pick and eat fresh.

Mint in the herb garden
Mint covers the ground in the herb garden

Moringa: The “Miracle Tree” – its leaves contain more than 90 nutrients and 46 antioxidants and are the most nutritious tree leaves on earth. The nutrients in moringa leaves adapt our human bodies into a balanced state of health, balancing the thyroid, immune system, digestive system, healing skin, and the list goes on.  The seeds give valuable oil that never goes rancid and can be used in machinery, heating, and light, and can heal wounds, scars, and wrinkles, and sooth skin disorders and after they’ve been pressed for oil, the seeds can also clarify water.  All parts of the tree are useful and healthful.  We were so happy to have it growing here, and then a gopher at the roots and killed it 🙁  We will try again.

Moringa
Moringa Seedling – 3 months old

 Nasturtium:  The flowers and leaves are edible and make fun garnishes and additions to salads or decorations for cakes.  They are annual plants, so they form flowers, then seeds and then die, and then the seeds spring up into new plants, and they start all over again.  The new seedlings pop up in unexpected places, and can have yellow, orange, or red flowers.

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Yellow Nasturtium in bloom

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Nectarines:  The fruits are much like peaches, except with smooth skin rather than fuzzy.  This variety is white-fleshed, sweet and juicy.

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The nectarine tree in May 2016, enclosed in a little cage made of bamboo and deer netting that we made to keep the birds and squirrels from eating the fruit before we get it.
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A close-up of the nectarines growing on the tree May 2016.
Nectarines
Nectarines 2015
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Nectarine tree in 2015
Nectarine Tree in Spring - each blossom will grow into a fruit
Nectarine Tree in Spring – each blossom will grow into a fruit

Olives: This bushy little tree gave us our first olives in 2015.   We soaked some of them in brine for eating and they were pretty good, and we also enjoyed just rubbing the fruits on our hands to cover our skin with olive oil.

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Olives growing on olive tree May 2016
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In 2015 we had a couple dozen olives, in 2016 there are hundreds!
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Olive tree in bloom – making olives

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Onions:  A favorite ingredient in many recipes we prepare, they are also a favorite with the turkeys, the gophers, and the bees.

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A patch of onions in flower, May 2016
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There are a couple of bees on this onion flower, although they’re hard to see in this picture. The flower will produce a great many onion seeds. May 2016
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Here are green onions – the root bulbs are underground. Both the green tops and the roots are edible.
This is the flower of the onion - it's a whole ball of individual flowers, and each flower has little black onion seeds inside of it
This is the flower of the onion – it’s a whole ball of individual flowers, and each flower has little black onion seeds inside of it

Here you can see the happy gopher enjoying the garden.  Even though he does eat some of our roots, we think he’s pretty cute!  He’s less cute since he ate our moringa tree roots!

Oranges:   As we grew up in Orange County, California, we were surrounded by orange groves and we fondly remember the amazing fragrance of orange blossoms and the incredibly juicy fruits. Oranges are still one of our favorite fruits, and honestly, the oranges we grow are the juiciest and most flavorful we’ve had in years!  We were so lucky that these mature trees were already growing here when we moved in.

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Navel Oranges growing
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Isn’t this a cute shot of a bee visiting an orange blossom?  And the little tiny green oranges are adorable too!
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Valencia Oranges – great for juicing

Oregano: Another lovely herb…

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Oregano

Parsley: The leaves of this herb add flavor and color to our prepared recipes, and they’re a good source of green leaves, which are healthy for us to eat 🙂

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This is italian, or flat-leaf parsley.  It has some flowers blooming on it.

Passion Fruit:
This vine is one of the most beautiful plants we grow.  The flowers are spectacular and the fruits are full of vibrant orange juice.  They are said to make you happy!

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Here are the lovely flowers growing on the vine. The flowers release a beautiful fragrance – especially in the evening.
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Here’s a passion fruit hanging on the vine. It will fall off when it gets fully ripe.
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The skin of the fruit is tough and leathery and you don’t eat it. You cut it in half, and it makes a little bowl of fruit pulp that you can eat with a spoon.

Peanuts: We love peanuts!  The turkeys love even the sprouting plants so much that we have to grow them in the fenced-off garden or the turkeys will eat them the day they sprout!  We couldn’t grow them in the original hard clay soil, but now that our soil is becoming more loose and crumbly all the time, we are able to grow them here! 

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Peanuts growing May 2016
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Here’s one peanut plant we have growing in Fall 2015.
Peanut plants growing in the foreground
Peanut plants growing in the foreground
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We harvested these peanuts! It’s a small harvest, but we proved we can do it and as the soil gets better, our harvests will get greater.

Peas:  We’re talking good old-fashioned garden peas here!

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Peas love the colder weather, so they grow well in November and December here in Southern California
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Open pea pods, showing peas growing in perfect symmetry
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In the background, peas growing in December 2014; In the foreground, peanuts growing

Pecans:

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Pecans, Almonds, and Macadamias in a beautiful basket made by our favorite Alaskan, Daniel Harrison.
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The pecan tree in May 2016, growing a lot more horizontally and less vertically than it was before we began pruning the top-most vertical branches.
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Here’s how the Pecan tree looked in 2015.
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Here are the lovely tassel-like flowers that grow on the pecan tree.
This is the fruit on the pecan tree
This is the fruit on the pecan tree
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Here’s how the pecans look without the green skin of the fruit
They are delicious and good for you!
Inside the pecan shell is the nut that we eat.  They are delicious and good for you!

Pigeon Peas This is another one of our favorites!  We have a post about it on this website, but in summary, it’s a perennial plant, so it will live for 5 years or so, and it makes the garden soil healthier just by growing here.  We really enjoy the flowers and the peas that it produces, plus it can provide shade for low plants, and act as a trellis for vining plants.  Here are some pictures:

Pigeon Pea Flowers
Pigeon Pea Flowers
Pigeon Pea Pods
Pigeon Pea Pods
Pigeon Peas at 1 and 1/2 years old
Pigeon Peas at 1 and 1/2 years old

Plums:

We have two plum trees, but so far no plums!  The winters haven’t been cold enough yet…

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Plum Tree in November 2015

Potatoes:

The potatoes love moisture and rich soil, so they are very happy growing on the side of one of our Hugelkulture mounds.  Several varieties of potatoes are growing.  We are also growing potatoes in pots, because we have seen others grow potatoes in pots so successfully on YouTube videos, and we wanted to try it too.

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Potatoes growing in a pot, May 2016
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Potatoes growing in a pot, May 2016
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Potato Flowers, May 2016

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Potatoes growing on the hugelkulture mound, May 2016

Prickly Pear:

The paddles and the fruits are edible.  They’re very thorny, so you have to handle them with care as you cut off the thorns.  Delicious and healthy too 🙂

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Pumpkins:

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The sprawling vine on the ground is the pumpkin vine.  This one produced about a dozen pumpkins in September/October 2015.
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Here are a few of the pumpkins.  The larger “Cinderella” pumpkins grew on the hugelkultur, and the smaller ones grew in other spots in the forest.  These ended up as pumpkin puree in the freezer.

Rosemary:

This popular herb flavors foods in many recipes, and we used rosemary oil to heal the skin on our turkey’s leg when she got hurt.  We tried many things to heal her, and the rosemary was the one that worked best.

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May 2016
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2015

Strawberries:   We started these in the aquaponic system, then transplanted them to the middle garden, and now we have transplanted many of the rooted plants into the back orchard, where they are beginning to take hold and grow between the trees.

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Strawberries in the middle garden, growing among beets and onions.
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May 2016
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2015

Tangerines

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Thyme Delightful herb used in cooking and medicine.  Here it is covering the ground in the herb garden.

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Tomatoes:
We’ve had a lot of tomato harvests from the aquaponic system and also from the ground.

Heirloom Tomato

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May 2016 Tomatoes growing inside the new trellising system.
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The new tomato & vine trellising system – a large cube built of 2″x2″ lumber in 8′ lengths. Twine hangs down from the beams for tying on the vines so they can grow up.
A jungle of cherry tomatoes in aquaponic greenhouse
A jungle of cherry tomatoes in aquaponic greenhouse
This tomato vine has been living in the aquaponic greenhouse for a couple years. It's scraggly, but still hanging on!
This tomato vine has been living in the aquaponic greenhouse for a couple of years. It’s scraggly, but still hanging on!
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A “Mortgage Lifter” heirloom tomato on a south-facing fence, with bamboo poles for trellising

Zucchini:
These plants came from a seed packet, and they have given us a great abundance of zucchini.

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38 thoughts on “Walk through Aloha Farms food forest”

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  9. Wow! Elizabeth and Eric, I stumbled upon your website (via the Back to Eden Film newsletter) and I’m blown away by the huge variety of awesome food you are growing! (and I just adore your turkeys and chickens too 🙂

    Your food forest abundant lifestyle is exactly what I’m striving for, and I’m so excited to find this information and learn from you guys, so thank you for sharing 🙂

    When I saw the Paul Gautschi Back to Eden film a short while ago I was hugely inspired and started dreaming about our future farm life. I’m on the hunt for wood chips and in the process of planning our first bit of garden. We live on a large-ish stand in the suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa but we have our hearts set on a farm one day, away from the hustle and bustle… once we’ve learnt the basics of true sustainable living!

    Thanks again for the awesome inspiration 🙂
    With love
    Traci

    1. Thank you so much Traci – how kind of you to send your thanks!

      We love knowing that you too are excited about BTE and food forests and we love that we can be in touch with you even from across the world 🙂

      This is why we created the website and it’s a great confirmation that we are on the right path!

      Best wishes for a very successful garden 🙂

      Aloha

      Elizabeth & Eric

      Aloha!

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