Eagle Rock Food Forest

Permaculture food forest in the city of Los Angeles on an abandoned 1/4 acre residential property. A work in progress.

+ about this project

In 2009 we bought an abandoned property on a south-facing hillside in Los Angeles. We restored the 1,000 square foot house and have been setting up design systems to grow food, generate energy, harvest and re-use rain and grey water, and support wildlife and domesticated animals in a diverse and productive ecosystem.

Highlights

  • Growing ~100 fruits, vegetables and herbs.
  • All rainwater diversion and erosion eliminated.
  • Integrated vermicomposting and soil regeneration systems.
  • Compost and mini-orchard systems integrated with chickens.
  • Greywater irrigation system reuses water from bathroom sink, shower, kitchen sink and laundry machine.
  • Rainwater cachement with tanks, sponge swales, mulch basins, terracing and other water storage strategies.
  • Swimming pool conversion to a natural aquaponic system filtered by native wetland plants.
  • 6KW solar PV system and 6KW battery storage provides services for the property including pool pump and electric car. Any supplemental electricity from the grid originates from renewable energy sources through a city program. In case of a power outage, services run entirely from battery storage which is charged during the day.

Animal food products

  • Chicken eggs

Perennial fruits and vegetables

  • Acerola Cherry
  • Aloe Vera (edible type)
  • Aprium
  • Avocado (2+ types)
  • Banana (4 types)
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry (6 types)
  • Chaya (Tree Spinach)
  • Cherimoya
  • Cherry
  • Chile (3 types)
  • Collard
  • Eggfruit (Canistel)
  • Egyptian Walking Onion
  • Fig (2 types)
  • Ginger
  • Goji Berry
  • Grape (Venus, Princess, Mission)
  • Grapefruit (Oro Blanco)
  • Guava (2 types)
  • Jujube
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime (Mexican)
  • Loquat
  • Makrut Lime
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Mandarin Orange
  • Mango (Kent)
  • Meyer Lemon
  • Moringa (Oleifera)
  • Mulberry (Pakistan)
  • Olive (2 types)
  • Orange (Navel)
  • Palo Verde (Mexican)
  • Passionfruit
  • Peach (Eva’s Pride)
  • Persimmon (Fuyu)
  • Peruvian Apple
  • Pineapple Guava
  • Pluery
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate (4 types)
  • Prickly Pear (Green)
  • Raspberry
  • Saltbush
  • Sorrel
  • Strawberry
  • Sugar Cane
  • Surinam Cherry
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tangelo
  • Turmeric
  • White Sapote

Perennial herbs

  • African Blue Basil
  • Bay
  • Chives
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Verbana
  • Makrut
  • Marjarum
  • Mint
  • Mitsuba
  • Nasturtium
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Shiso
  • Thyme
  • Tobacco

Self-seeding vegetables and herbs

  • Basil
  • Celery
  • Chamomile
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Nasturtium
  • Tomato
  • Yellow Wood Sorrel

Other annual vegetables and herbs

  • Beet
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cilantro (Coriander)
  • Dill
  • Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Potato
  • Melons
  • Squash

Perennials for wood

  • Acacia
  • Agave flower
  • Avocado
  • Bamboo
  • Bauhinia
  • Citrus
  • Eucalyptus
  • Grevillea
  • Fig

Native perennials

  • Buckwheat (flour, pollinators, erosion control)
  • Desert Broom (pollinators, erosion control, wind block, privacy)
  • California Sagebrush (scent, erosion control)
  • Four-winged saltbush (herb, erosion control)
  • Spiny Saltbush (erosion control)
  • Toyon (erosion control, wind block, privacy)

Eagle rock food forest main

  • peaches
    Peaches grow in a grey-watered mini-orchard of 8 fruit trees fertilized by chickens, who travel by tunnel to and from their coop.
  • Moringa
    Moringa trees provide light shade and a hyper-nutritious food source from the leaves and seeds. Moringa is grown as a survival food source in Africa and an expensive supplement in health food stores. It has 2x the protein of yogurt, 4x the vitamin A of carrots, 3x the potassium of bananas, 4x the calcium of milk, and 7x the vitamin C of oranges.
  • tobacco
    Drying Tobacco from a Grevillea tree, which is being pruned over time to provide a living staircase for roof access.
  • grapes
    A chicken composting pen directly fertilizes heavy producing Venus seedless grapes. The grape vines grow up a trellis that shades a south-facing staircase, and is constructed from Bamboo harvested from a friend's garden.
  • bananas
    Four types of bananas are grown around a central greywater-fed mulch basin. 15 foot banana plants are cut down and composted in the central pit after fruiting. They also create a cool shady environment, reducing temperature and increasing moisture in an otherwise hot and dry SW outdoor microcllimate. They shade and insulate the house interior while providing privacy and a beautiful view from the bedroom.
  • eggs
    In addition to providing eggs, we incorporate our chickens into a compost system and a mini-orchard of fruit trees. They supply fertilizer for most of our annual and perennial food-producing plants and trees.
  • loquats
    Our Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing citrus. Using greywater and chickens for irrigation and fertility we grow Mandarin, Navel Orange, Eureka Lemon, Meyer Lemon, Key Lime, Tangelo, Makrut, Loquat, and Oro Blanco Grapefruit.
  • chickenpen
    Chickens have constant access via a tunnel system to a composting pen, where they deposit manure that we occasionally layer with wood chips and water. We simply open the lid and dig out composted manure whenever we need fertilizer. We also grow grapes next to the pen that feed directly from the compost. No cleaning or additional maintenance is needed.
  • Eagle Rock food forest - steps
    We carve and compact stairs with sandstone platforms directly into the grade. The adobe plaster is made from sifted native dirt, goat manure and straw (from our desert neighbor's goat farm), fermented cactus slime (for binding, smoothing and water resistance) and human hair (final coat). The fermented cactus is a traditional technique from parts of Mexico, though I couldn't find many examples of it in books or online. The plaster has held up well for a couple years and we consider it a success. Prickly Pear is plentiful and conveniently located on our site.
  • dragonfly
    Dragonflies breed in our natural pool and are an important part of the food chain.
  • chamomile
    Chamomile and many other useful and edible annual plants re-seed on their own every year.
  • solar panels
    6 kW of solar panels and 6kW of battery storage provide electricity for the property and prevent outages.
  • passionfruit trellis
    Passionfruit vines grow up the side of the house onto a bamboo trellis that shades the southwest side of the deck and produces hundreds of fruits multiple times a year. The bamboo was harvested from a friend's yard. The vines are irrigated with stored rainwater through a vermicomposting basin.