Native plants should be part of your urban homesteading food forest design. We are using some native plants such as elderberry, western red cedar, red flowering currents, and more as a hedge in the front of our yard. We have intermingled flowers and ground cover plants around our fruit trees and utilized fast-growing understory trees to provide shade along the side of our house.

The number one benefit of adding native plants to your gardens is that it will improve the ecosystem for local pollinators, insects, birds, and animals that need these species to have happy productive lives. Depending on where you live it may take a more conscious effort to integrate native plants into your food forest design however, it is well worth the effort. The bees, butterflies, and other creatures will certainly benefit from the inclusion of their local favorite plants.

Every ecosystem around the world is threatened by invasive species. However, you can make a difference and plant native species that your local animals and insects need to thrive. Check out local resources for your region and find some special plants to plant to improve the ecosystem for local pollinators.