Discovering the actual opposite of a food desert!

On this edition of Saturday’s Around the World, we’re taking a look at what’s growing near the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island, and how its existence is helping enhance the community surrounding it!

In the early 1990s, Robert and Robyn Guyton came across this property in the photo above, located in the small town of Riverton, NZ. At the time, it was overrun with trash and little to nothing was growing, but coincidentally, this was exactly the type of land they were looking for.

So they bought it, cleaned it up and began planting with an innovative type of forest in mind. As everything began growing over the years, birds stopped by and found homes, searched for dinner, made babies, helped pollinate the plants, and controlled the bug populations. The forest continued to thrive as the Guyton’s continued planting — even fish began to visit through the streams that formed!

They’d created a food forest, a magical place with layers and layers of goodies for human consumption from the fruit trees, berry bushes, herbs and vines, to the various root vegetables hanging out in the soils.

The best part? It’s insanely easy to maintain…as long as you’re able to sit back and allow nature to do its thing.

Happen Films put together a wonderful video, called An Invitation for Wildness, showcasing the Guyton’s gorgeous forest and all of the fantastic things they’re able to do with it as a part of their Living The Change series! Check it out!

VIA: Happen Films  1

Every single description of the forest is a huge benefit! Their backyard is giving them so many new opportunities for growth, both within their own personal lives as well as, on a larger scale, inside of their community. 21 years ago, the Guyton’s began the South Coast Environmental Society and created an Environment Center in their town to allow healthy, natural products to be easily accessible to those that live in the surrounding area! This center also acts as a home base for numerous local and international environmental groups!

Can you imagine something like this in your own community, growing wild but providing food for so many?

Could food deserts, where healthy food isn’t accessible for miles from a community, be a thing of the past if we put our focus on transforming and managing land in this way and providing a space for people to access the healthy products?

It’s wild that there are so many pieces of land out in the world that, with some love and care, could come back to life, thrive, and be exceptionally beneficial to us all. Take one of the places we’ve featured on a past Saturday for example, the Selah Bamberger Ranch. For years and years, the land was completely dry and unable to sustain more than one type of plant, but with some time and care, it’s now a thriving and wonderful part of the Texas landscape. How cool is that?

This could be your back yard.

Nothing is ever past the point of saving, and nature is more powerful than we may think.

Keep yourself open to new possibilities and happiness will stay close by.

-Sam

Looking to grow a little more today?

You’re in the right place! Throughout our pages, you’ll find hundreds of reasons that show how our world is still an amazing place to be! There are so many more we’d like to share with you and in the upcoming week, our website will be growing a little more in order to accommodate and showcase all of these fantastic truths. But, in the mean time, please enjoy our site just the way we are!

If you aren’t quite sure where to begin your journey, we have this nifty little “Surprise Me!” button in our sidebar that’ll bring your straight to a random article!

Notes:

  1. “Thriving 23-Year-Old Permaculture Food Forest – An Invitation for Wildness.” YouTube. Happen Films, 24 Nov. 2016. Web. 16 July 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GJFL0MD9fc>.

Sam Burns

Chief Administrative Officer, Head Staff Writer

Sam is a listener, creator, collector of knick-knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.

In this Circle

Need to Solve a Problem? Turn to Nature!

7 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Sam Burns

The natural world is a remarkable problem solver. So, why aren't we turning to nature to find more answers to our complex problems? Here's how biomimicry is helping us build a better future!
Read More

Artificial Intelligence Meets Black Soldier Flies and Farming!

15 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Sam Burns

When it comes to saving the resources of our planet, we are all hoping for the next big idea to come along. Well, this one involves a very tiny creature that brings an amazing resume to the task. Let's meet them!
Read More

Here’s How Seizure Detecting Dogs are Changing People’s Lives

11 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

Can dogs really be life-savers? Meet the dogs that are helping their owners detect seizures up to 45 minutes before they occur! It's a fascinating story. These pups are making life safer and easier for people who suffer from seizures.
Read More

Meet the Planet’s Most Remarkable Engineers

7 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

Imagine a world of natural air conditioning, vertical farming, and sky scrapers that rival our tallest buildings. You don't have to travel to the future to see any of this, all you have to do is turn to the insect world!
Read More

A Second Chance for Abandoned Animals and Inmates

11 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

Here's a great example of the kinds of stories the nightly news could be bringing us, instead of all the doom and gloom. Another thought-leaders - the Monroe County Jail - teaches us about possibility.
Read More

Sheepdogs: the Brilliant Relationship of Man and Dog

24 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

The relationship between man and dog is a unique part of our shared evolutionary history. Here's a look at beautiful way they continue to fit into that history from many perspectives...
Read More

Replacing DEET with Ducks?

5 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Sam Burns

With help from our friends, we could waddle our way into a healthier future! Lets see how this is happening in parts of our world today...
Read More

Say Hello Best Way to Get Around in the Snow

15 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

Think you know all you need to know about dog sledding? Our relationship with these pups has altered history and has been one of the most unfailing and versatile forms of transportation for thousands of years. Here are a few fascinating stories...
Read More

The Planet’s Unsung Hero, the Dung Beetle

11 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

There's a remarkable reason why there is not dung everywhere in our world. Think about it: the multitudes of creatures on this planet produce a lot of waste! So, what happens to all of it? Well, let us introduce you to one of the planet's greatest unsung heroes, the dung beetle! Get ready to be astonished.
Read More

Unearthing the DNA of the Jungle with Leeches

7 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

How can leeches help biologist study remote ecosystems? It turns out researchers can use these often overlooked creatures to learn about species hidden from view! Here's the fascinating story.
Read More

Using Bird Vomit to Uncover History!

9 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

How can owl pellets help us make conservation decisions? It turns out a little bit of gross science can have a big impact! And it's actually pretty cool!
Read More

You Should Really Thank the Fruit Flies

6 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Sam Burns

Would you believe that your genes are super similar to a fruit fly's? They've been helping us discover our own bodies for years, here's how...
Read More

What Ants Can Teach Us About Problem-Solving

18 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

Did you know that there is FAR more to the ant/human relationship than painful bites? Turns out, weaver ants have been used for centuries to help farmers protect their crops! And better yet, these remarkable problem-solvers have some tips that can teach us all about our own lives.
Read More

How a Tiny Creature Makes Us Ask Better Questions…

6 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

The jerboa may look like the tiny rodent cousin of the t-rex, but the skeletons of these strange creatures are helping us answer questions with major implications in medicine.
Read More

So, What’s a Food Forest?

22 minutes

[ #ConspiracyofGoodness ]

By Sam Burns

There's something growing on the South Coast of New Zealand that could change our lives. Check it out!
Read More

Explore Joy, Wonder, and Insight in an Unexpected Package: Goats!

17 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

Let's get to know an animal with fascinating adaptations for survival and 10,000-year history beside us! We're going to investigate the world of these split-hooved, 280-degree peering creatures. Join us for a pajama party, a look into what makes a goat a living marvel, and how they can help us innovate!
Read More

Meet the Rescue Dogs Saving the Environment!

7 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

Rescue dogs are now becoming conservation superheroes too! Meet the pups getting a new life at the forefront of saving ecosystems, anti-poaching, and amazing conservation efforts.
Read More