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Mama Owl and her Food Forest Owlets – A Children’s Fable

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    What is a Food Forest? A food forest mimics a forest edge that is planted with edible plants. Picture all of the vertical layers of a forest growing together: Tall trees, small trees, shrubs, herbs, and ground covers.

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    From their tree, the Owl family can see the forest fringe and layers of the food forest below, planted some 5 years ago by the neighborhood humans. It is indeed rich with life, and prey, for the yearly brood of owlets that start out their lives in Moma Owl’s tree.

    Fuzzy: Moma, what kinds of food do the humans harvest down there?

    Moma Owl: Mostly nuts and fruits, these folks are salad crazy!

    Fuzzy: Something called Vegan, right Moma?

    Moma Owl: Something like that. But we eat mice and snakes and squirrels.

    Fuzzy: I see, the food forest supports a simple food chain. Mice eat the seeds and we eat the mice!

    Moma: Yes, that’s close to how this works. The food forest is a linked system of resources for all to enjoy. Smaller seed eating birds live in the shrubs. Squirrels live in the taller trees near our nest.

    Fuzzy: And the fox runs through the entire forest, preying on whatever is available?

    Moma: We share the top of the food chain with the fox, although in difference niches.

    Fuzzy: Forest litter or old leaves add some natural compost to the system. Downed fruit is another ingredient as are the herbs and ground covers?

    Moma: My smart little owlet.

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    Soon the two owlets matured into full owl adults and found their own forest edge and abandoned nests to have their own families. And the food forest is the center of their community.

    Moral – When your niche is your heart, you will prosper.

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