Plants of Our Food Forest – Harvest Gallery

Some of the Food Plants on Our Site

Here is a list of plants that do well on our site. As with many research projects, there is going to be a long list of the plants that did not thrive.

Survival of the plants depends on several factors. These include soil health, predation by wildlife, competition with invasive plants, access to in-soil water, overexposure to sun or inadequate sunlight, and funghi/humidity. In a nut-shell, the foundational soil is solid clay. The water ran off quickly. The site was covered in lantana, kikuyu and madeira vine. The solar window is only from 10am to 6pm in winter. The temperature can reach above 40c but mostly sits in the low 30c range in summer. The summer humidity gets moderately high (80%) and there are lots of funghi and mosses.

Edible flowers:

Sage: pineapple and fruit salad sage, Pumpkin (Cucurbits), Sunflower (flowerhead can be baked whole), Magnolia, Artichokes, Elderflowers (this needs frost for good scent), Bluebells, Calendulas, Cornflowers, Hibiscus, pelargoniums, Garland, Nasturtiums, Chrysanthemums (medicinal), Citrus flowers, Brassica flowers (such as broccoli and turnip flowers), Borage, Amaranthus, Violets, Fuchsia, Gladioli, Banana flower (cook after soaking), Zucchini flowers.

Lots of unusual foods in a summer harvest – flowers (begonia, sage, roses, bottlebrush, nasturtiums), choko sprouts, sweet potato (Kumara) leaves, banana leaves, watercress, grape leaves, peruvian ground apple, curry leaf, Kaffir lime, Jerusalem artichokes and much more.

Sweeteners, Useful Plants, Antiseptic Tea:

Sugarcane, Flax, Tea tree, Lemon, Scented tea tree, violets, Orris Root (Melalueca (Leptospermum alternifolia) Petersonii), Lemon grass, Sweet fennel (dulcis var.), Alpine strawberry leaves, Chamomile. Lemon and Aniseed Myrtle.

Poultry Food and Medicine Plants

Protein (snails and insects) for healthy diet, Pigeon Pea, wormwood, Accacia, pumpkin, longifolia, clover seed, cleavers, grasses and dandelion weeds, melon and garlic ramblers – after harvest sunflowers, fennel, Evening primrose seeds. Geese are mostly vegetarian (they need fish oil sometimes for medicine). They love eating bamboo leaves and banana leaves and stools, so we fell them after picking and slice the stem open. Maidera vine is feed to the poultry and seed is placed in areas of infestation to encourage the chickens to scratch and disturb young tubers.

Our Permaculture Plant List

Edible Groundcovers:

Yarrow (medicinal), Chamomile (medicinal tea), strawberries, New Zealand Spinach, mint, woodruff (flavouring), prostrate grevillia (nectar for cordial), Marjoram.

Bushes, Smaller Trees & Palms:

Given that our surrounding forests are dry rainforests with closed canopies, our food forest has few plants in the undergrowth unless except where we maintain open glades. The list of understorey plants for our oceanic temperate climate is shorter than the number of trees we grow. However, we have discovered a good range of indigenous food plants to fill that gap.

Hazelnut, Tamarillo, Coffee, Tea, Native Raspberries, Walking stick palm [Linospadix Monostrachya], Gingko, Lemonade, Italian Pine, Medlar, Natal Cherry,  Custard Apple (Annona Cherimoya), Nashi, Wine Palm, Lychee, Walking stick Palm, Pomelo, Carob (not yet fruited), Silver Birch (edible syrup), Pomegrante, Sugar Maple. 

Taller Grasses, Herbs and Canes: 

Ginger, Tumeric, Galangla, Raspberries, Taro, Beans, Peas, Monstera, Spinach, Milo (type of Sorghum), Popping Sorghum, Corn, Wheat, Rye, wormwood, perenial Capsicum, Bush Tomatoes, Sage, Oregano, Sugarcane, Banana.


Passionfruit, Choko, Kiwifruit (1 male, 2 female), Basella, many varieties of grape.


Blue Lilly Pilly, Pigeon Pea – soil conditioner edible fruit, Indigenous, and edible pods windbreak, birds. Mulberry alba and nigra – choose different varieties. Moreton Bay fig, Sandpaper Banana – fruits fig, Bunya pine (huge tree with large and dangerous fruits up to 35kg each, do not plant near homes or paths), Monstera Deliociosa – (many Australians call this Monsterio), Chestnut Avocado – easily grown from seed, Walnut, Lemon – some grown from seed, Chinotto Orange, Native or introduced Hibiscus (flowers) – seed or cutting, Mango, Olives, Macadamia, Illawarra Plum, Mountain Paw Paw, Damson (Babaco, also known as champagne fruit), Pistachio, Hazelnut, Almond, Saba Nut, Pecan (need male and female), Pear, Rambutan, Grapefruit, Native Guava, Persimmon, Orange (including Seville and Valencia orange), Mandarin (try to obtain early, middle and late varieties), Barbados Cherry, Feijoa, Ice Cream Bean, Apple. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), Japanese Raisin Tree (Hovenia dulcis), Linden (edible leaves) Curry Leaf.

Fruit Fly prone Plants [Must be planted within chicken forage areas]

Quince, Plum,  Paw Paw – Papaya (best to harvest and use when green), [Mountain Babaco ok] Apricot, Peach, Loquat, Nectarine, Pepino. We do not recommend these.

Useful Trees

Firstly, the main benefit of our food forest is carbon sequestration. Secondly, as the city expands, the expanse of birds and insects need refuge. All indigenous plants support beneficial micro-organisms. And all plants contribute to wind filtering and channelling and heat reduction as the climate warms. Our food forest is always more comfortable than the neighbours lawn areas.

Illawarra Flame (indigenous) flowers, birds, native bees, mulch, windbreak, deep rooted. Red Cedar (Toona Australis) rare indigenous tree, suited to wetter zone, deciduous, good windbreak. Plant only one by itself. Small grevillia, steep flowers for cordial, bird attractant and other Natural insect predators. Banksia, Casuarina – nitrogen fixing. Lemon Scented tea tree -tea, antiseptic, bee forage. Grevillia robusta – timber and bee and edible nectar. Elm – 2 varieties or more. Boobialla (soft edible fruit) bird attractant, bushy, windbreak and screen. Agati (African tree has edible leaves and pods). Acacia is main winter forage for bees, good pioneer species, soil conditioning and kindling for wood fire. Blueberry Ash (indigenous).

Recommended Resources

You can find more ideas and lists of plants at PLANTS FOR A FUTURE .

And this project researches and promotes underutilized food plants FOOD SOLUTIONS