A Little About Us and Where The Food Forest Has Started From – 2022 Update

Katrina & Peter and their children are a Vegan living family of 5 in East Ayrshire, Scotland. 3 children aged 12-15. Their eldest Clayton who is Autistic and Non verbal is Home Educated by Katrina and has developed a keen interest and eye for the garden and is most happiest when planting seeds, potting up and watering what he has grown. This year Clayton started the Grow and Learn Course with the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

“ Grow & Learn is a person-centred award, recognising individual progress and achievement in horticulture. Our awards are inclusive, individualised and offer life skills based education for all. Grow & Learn aims to address a large gap in provision in the world of horticulture by offering an alternative learning opportunity for those who find mainstream learning challenging“ The Caley

Clayton watering the vegetables in the planters

You can follow Katrina & Clayton on our instagram page buildingafoodforest_scotland watching us daily around the garden while we build up the Food Forest with Fruit, Nuts & Berries bushes & trees all from a grassed patch. The start & development of the Kitchen Courtyard Garden using Vertical Gardening techniques- planting in milk cartons, the Raised bed garden, mini food forest raised beds & Clayton’s Flower Beds.


The family have lived in Scotland since 2013 and decided to finally make it their home in 2019 and bought a property in East Ayrshire with large enough grounds to start building a food forest approx 1/4 acre to start having fresh basic food supplies for their family.

Peter completed Permaculture Design Course online at Oregon State University (certified by the Permaculture Institute of North America) and has designed the grounds using the 12 principles of permaculture design, they started with the fruit trees and fruit & nut bushes to get them established (all under net cages for Deer protection) while they slowly but surely continue to build the area around them.

12 steps of permaculture design
Image Source: gethunted.com

Oakmount House when we first moved in, Feb 2019
Food Forest area. Ongoing in 2022

From a full grass area, they have split it up into difference sections:

First Section – Seating Area

First is a seating area, which will also house a greenhouse & potting shed for Clayton to continue his skills in the garden. Has an established Apple tree & black & red currant bushes, there is a slope onto the 2nd tier that is in the process of becoming a full lavender hedge for a wonderful sensory experience, all grown from seed on the window sills around the house.

When the lavender hedge was first planed
in on the slope

Check out more of our progress on these blogs:

-No Waste Wednesday-What We Did With The Empty Compost Bags

Second Section – Kids Area

There is the kids area, for play, for running, for waterslides and swinging. The slope into the 3rd tier is full of flowers to the left of this photo & netted in to stop balls flying into it – originally put up to stop the Deers eating the lupins

When the 2nd flower slope lupins were planted out

Third Section – Food Forest & Raised Bed Garden

The third and largest section has the raised bed gardening area started with 5 of the 12 planned beds up and running. And the back section prepping for a full food forest. Fruit trees went in right away, so mulching out the area around them to start planting it all out fully to create a food forest.

Mulching the Food Forest area around the fruit trees ready to plant the whole area out
Overview- From Lavender slope at the back of the food forest

Check out more of our progress on these blogs:

Building a Food Forest in Scotland. Starting with the Tree Layer (Year 1)

Starting to Build a Food Forest, Where Did We Start? (Year 1 & 2)

Sheet Mulching a Large Grass Lawn Area To Build A Food Forest

Different sections of the garden we are working on 🟨 Yellow- Top Sitting Tier
🟪 Purple- Kids Tier with Lavender Slope
🟦 Blue- Food Forest Tier Planters with Flower Slope
🟥Pinky Red- Front Mini Food Forest
⬜️Grey- Kitchen Courtyard with Vertical Garden

This whole area is very much a working progress which we are documenting our progress on instagram Katrina & Clayton – buildingafoodforest_scotland

Kitchen Courtyard – Vertical Gardening

Behind the house we have built a Kitchen Courtyard Garden growing herbs & salads. A beautiful practical vertical garden is in this area too, we made great use of this space along a black fencing that retains the heat and gives the plants an extra heat boost, 66 milk cartons kindly collected by the neighbours are attached on a curtain rail, planted out with the seasons food.

Before and now of the Kitchen Courtyard Garden
Vertical Gardening using Milk Cartons
Got another 3 rows of these to add this year
Herbs and lettuce growing in the vertical garden

You can read in more details in the following blogs:

Building a Kitchen Courtyard Herb Garden in a Small Space in Scotland (Part 1)

-No Waste Wednesday-How We Grow Food in a Vertical Garden Using Milk Cartons On A Fence

A great use of recycling, reusing & repurposing, showing no matter the space you have you can always start growing something, even if it is using toilet rolls, paper cups, cutting up plastic bottles to use the bottom to plant & the tops for mini greenhouses or EVEN old shoes!

Reusing, Repurposing, Recycling items for the garden

Front Section – Mini Food Forests

Our mini food forest on the fence is thriving
New for 2022 mini food forest in a raised bed

Check out these blogs for more details:

Building a Mini Food Forest in a Small Area. Ours is On A Fence (Year 1)

Building a Mini Food Forest in a Raised Bed

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Other related blogs from the home are:

Published by buildingafoodforestscotland

Building a Food Forest -Scotland Edwardian 1903 Home & Garden in Scotland Planting With Permaculture Design

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