The Food Forest Starter Bundle
Grow Your Own Food and Break Free from the Grocery Store!
Our mission is to help society break free from the global, industrial food system and live in harmony with Earth, humanity and our plant and animal relatives. Our founder, Robin Greenfield, has been working diligently in this mission for over a decade. Among many of his projects and programs, he has shown that it is possible to completely break free from the grocery story by growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year in Florida and foraging 100% of his food for a month. For the last decade we have created educational content that has helped thousands of people to liberate themselves by reconnecting with and growing their own food.
Since Robin finished his year of liberation through food, we have been thinking deeply about how we can be of highest service to help you too gain Food Freedom. We have brainstormed what resources we have to offer to the Florida community that can provide the greatest help in growing a substantial amount of food and medicine, to wean off of the global, industrial food system. What we came up with is the Food Forest Starter Bundle.
What is the Food Forest Starter Bundle?
The Food Forest Starter Bundle is a package of cuttings and seeds of plants that we send in the mail to assist recipients in starting their own food forest gardens. We have designed this bundle with the most productive, easy to grow foods for Florida from seed and cuttings. These plants:
- Provide substantial yields of food and medicine
- Require the least maintenance and time to manage
- Have the fewest “pests”
- Need the least water and fertility
- are some of the most likely to thrive
- Are easy to propagate and store propagation materials so that you can effectively share plants with your community
- Many are culturally appropriate foods within Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities
The idea is real simple. We wanted to provide the best resource we could to help you truly break free from the grocery store and spread this abundance through your community. We send these bundles in the mail on a donation basis. At the same time your donations fuel our food sovereignty initiatives. Donations help us to provide these bundles at no cost to Black and Indigenous led food liberation initiatives around the state of Florida including school gardens, community gardens, home gardens, grassroots farms and more. The funds are also used to fund our other food sovereignty initiatives including providing the Food Freedom Book at no cost to these communities.
Request your Food Forest Starter Bundle in the Mail Here!
By making a suggested donation we will send you a Food Forest Starter Bundle, plus instructions to help you on your journey of growing these plants!
What is in the Food Forest Starter Bundle:
- Between 28 and 32 different plants. (~3 cuttings of most plants from cutting and 5-50 seeds depending on the plant). That is a total of about 90 cuttings and 280 seeds.
- All plants are sourced from the community in Florida, meaning they are adjusted and adapted to this region of land.
- Educational content to help you to grow this bundle (see below)
- Note: The Food Forest Starter Bundle is designed specifically for people in Florida, which includes regions that are USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11.
We acknowledge that it is possible to get all of these plants for free, by plugging into the community here in Florida and we encourage you to do this! At the same time, we are incredibly excited to make getting your food forest garden started more accessible and time-efficient. We have saved you all the work of finding out which plants are most likely to thrive. This is the ideal food forest bundle for Florida! We save you all the time of sourcing plants from numerous sources and the transportation to numerous nurseries (we haven’t found anyone else who provides this same offering in Florida). This bundle could save you dozens and dozens of hours of research, travel and collecting. At $5/cutting and $5 per pack of seeds you could easily spend over $500 for what we provide in this bundle. We hope that you see the value of the Food Forest Starter Bundle and will make your contribution with joy and gratitude.
Here is a list of what is in the bundle:
- Cassava/yuca (3 cuttings)
- Chaya (3 cuttings)
- Lemongrass (3 cuttings)
- Sweet potato (3 cuttings)
- Elderberry (3 cuttings)
- Mulberry (native variety) (3 cuttings)
- Mulberry (dwarf ever-bearing variety) (3 cuttings)
- Cuban oregano (3 cuttings)
- Tithonia (sunflower) (3 cuttings)
- Toilet Paper Plant (2 cuttings)
- Nopal cactus (1 pad)
- Okinawa spinach (3 cuttings)
- Longevity spinach (3 cuttings)
- African blue basil (3 cuttings)
- Katuk (3 cuttings)*
- Rosemary (3 cuttings)
- Galangal ginger (1 rhizome piece)*
- Turmeric (1 rhizome piece)*
- Pigeon pea/gandules (~15 seeds)
- Moringa (~5 seeds)
- Southern/Seminole/Cow pea (~20 seeds)
- Seminole pumpkin ( ~7 seeds)
- Everglades tomato (~10 seeds)
- Papaya (~10 seeds)
- East African/Ethiopian kale/Amara (~50 seeds)
- Cranberry hibiscus (~10 seeds)
- Molokhia/Egyptian spinach (~50 seeds)
- Hopi Red Dye amaranth (~50 seeds)
- Bidens alba (~25 seeds)
- Sorrel/Roselle (~10 seeds)
- Luffa (~5-7 seeds)
- Daikon radish (~30 seeds)
Not all plants are guaranteed. We guarantee a minimum of 28 of the 32 plants listed here. The most likely plants to not be included in the bundle, based on sourcing are the ones market with a *.
Bundle Options and Suggested Donations
- Complete bundle of cuttings and seeds ($80 to $130 sliding scale donation) + $10 shipping
- Cuttings only ($55 to $110 sliding scale donation) + $10 shipping
- Seeds only ($40 to $50 sliding scale donation) + $5 shipping
- Moringa seeds only ($15 to $25 sliding scale donation) + $5 shipping
- We also offer the bundle at no cost. See how to request support below.
When Will the Bundles be Mailed?
The Food Forest Starter Bundle is a unique program that we have not seen anyone else offering. We are elated to be able to offer this bundle to you and we are humbly requesting your patience in receiving your bundle in the mail as we fully develop our sourcing of plants. We are pulling together our sources for each of the ~30 plants from around Florida. This is our current schedule of shipping:
- Stage 1: was mailed May 17th
- Stage 2: June 15th shipping (approximate)
- Stage 3: July 15th shipping (approximate)
We are currently on stage 2. We humbly request your patience if we are a few weeks behind on shipping the bundles. We are not for profit. We are a small grassroots group of plant-lovers who are in service to Earth, humanity and our plant and animal relatives.
Educational Content is coming including:
- Instructions for the Food Forest Starter Bundle upon Receiving and How to Plant
- A video showing exactly what is in the bundle and how to plant it (coming May 2023)
- How to Care for and Maintain the Plants and Your Garden in the bundle (written guide)
- A video showing each of these plants in a mature state (coming May 2023)
- A video showing how to turn a patch of lawn into a food forest using these plants
- A video sharing a profile on each of the plants in the bundle (later in 2023)
- Documentation of The Deuces Food Forest that we are helping to build!
Request your Food Forest Starter Bundle in the Mail Here!
More About the Food Forest Starter Bundle
We consider this to be a starter bundle and not a complete food forest. This bundle primarily consists of the plants that most rapidly establish ground cover and canopy coverage. These plants have been selected because together they will most quickly begin the important ecosystem services of covering the soil, building the soil, fixing nitrogen, creating biomass and retaining moisture, while working together in reciprocity to establish a community of interdependent plants, fungi, bacteria and animals. The plants we provide are a foundation to a food forest and larger trees and a handful of other plants can be added to it to create a true food forest. Or you can simply grow what is in the bundle and have an abundant and diverse food producing garden. Although this bundle includes a few trees (moringa and mulberry) and large shrubs (elderberry, pigeon pea/gandules, chaya, Tithonia and papaya) it does not include large trees and we recommend sourcing these locally as potted plants from nurseries and gardeners. Our educational content includes a recommendation of trees and other plants to source.
Through Robin’s year of growing and foraging 100% of his food and the last five years of involvement in the Florida community, he has immersed deeply in the Florida permaculture and food growing scene. He has visited dozens (likely over 100) public gardens, home gardens, permaculture demonstration sites and had thousands of interactions with these plants in a diversity of settings. He has grown and eaten (many by the hundreds of times) every plant in the bundle. He has witnessed thriving gardens and struggling gardens and he has seen the patterns of which plants thrive and which struggle. With this experience and the constant curiosity of the experience of others, he has developed this bundle along with his partner Amal Jennings. We have selected the plants that are truly most likely to thrive and produce. We believe this makes beginning a garden more accessible, efficient, effective and most likely to be empowering and liberating. We encourage you to start with these plants and as your experience and confidence grows, start to work with plants that may be more challenging to be in relationship with. Over the last five years, I have had hundreds of people reach out to me to ask if I can provide them with these plants. I have never had the means to do so. Of course, I gave thousands of plants to hundreds of people completely freely at my classes and to whoever visited me in my garden… But now I am ready to provide the most helpful resource that I can to all of you who want to liberate yourself and your communities through food.
By providing this diligently curated starter bundle and complimentary educational resources on a suggested donation basis (and at no cost to some communities), I am hopeful that I can help create accessibility and break down the barriers to Food Freedom for many in our community! I hope to see thousands of these food forest gardens popping up in our communities and I hope to share a meal with many of you.
I welcome this initiative to be duplicated in communities across the land. The bundle can be planted for food production or it can be planted to turn into a propagation nursery of Plants for the People!
Our Commitment to Food Liberation for Black and Indigenous Communities
We pay homage to the Indigenous communities who have developed and stewarded relationships to these plants for thousands of years. Many of these plants have been stewarded by Indigenous cultures for 10,000 years. Many of these foods are here today on Turtle Island (the United States) because of the cultural relationships created on the continent of Africa and continued forward by Black communities of growers and land-stewards. These foods would simply not be here today without the wisdom, diligence, love and care of Indigenous and Black communities. Here we share some knowledge from from The book Farming While Black by Leah Penniman:
“The cow pea originated in West Africa and was carried by Black Farmers o the Americas during the slave trade. It is a drought-tolerant, disease- and pest-resistant nitrogen fixer that was promoted by Dr. George Washington Carver as a tool for soil repair.”
“Roselle… originated in Senegal and was grown throughout Jamaica starting in the 1700s. It is one of the over 600 species of hibiscus, known as bissap, zobo and sobolo in West Africa and sorrel in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean.” In Florida I usually hear it called Jamaican sorrel, but once a woman from another island, Trinidad if I recall, said that it’s grown all over the Caribbean, so they prefer to call it Caribbean sorrel.
“East African kale, Amara, Ethiopian kale, has been grown in its homeland for 6,000 years. Brassica carinata tastes like buttery young collards and can be grown like cutting lettuce, offering several harvests in a season”
“Molokhia. Egyptian spinach, corchorus olitorius, is a staple food in Ghana and Burkina Faso and commonly eaten in Egypt. During the time of pharaohs, Egyptian royalty would drink molokhia to recover from illness. People in Ghana also use molokhia medicinally for fever, stomach issues, and loss of appetite. It has many names that refer to its texture: in Ewe, Ademe (slimy leaf); in Dagbani, Salinvaa (slimy leaf); in Vagla Dofila, mwana (grass okro or “grass okra”; and in Huasa and Twi, Ayoto (slimy leaf).”
“The Diasporic King of Crops (Ipomoea batatas) is a staple food for our people and a mainstay for Black farmers. It is the spiritual and culinary stand-in for the African yam (Dioscorea caynensis)”
We are dedicated to honoring the reciprocal relationships that Black and Indigenous communities have developed and stewarded with these plants. We are committed fostering mutually beneficial healing relationships between people and plants. We provide these bundles at no cost to Black and Indigenous-led liberation initiatives including school gardens, community gardens, home gardens, grassroots farms around the state of Florida. We also make financial and resource contributions and provide our knowledge and skills to these communities. Our main partnership is with the Deuces Food Forest, which is an up and coming food forest developed by Ramona Brayboy in The Deuces neighborhood of St. Pete. A portion of the donations received from the bundles will be donated to support Soul Fire Farm‘s Reparations Map for Black-Indigenous Farmers (through the Northeast Farmers of Color Network) and Uprooting Racism in the Food System training program.
Request a Bundle at no cost
To request a bundle at no cost please fill out the Request Form.
Educational content is to come in May and June 2023, in the meantime, here are a few videos to get you inspired and informed!
Here is a video that shares some of the plants in the bundle:
Inspiration to break free from the grocery store:
How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden:
Pete Kanaris shares his top 10 plants to grow in Florida: