Macalester College


The EcoHouse landscaping was student-designed as an edible forest garden. Using permaculture principles, students selected and planted native plants that would attract beneficial insects, promote soil fertility and provide food. We designed the garden during the summer of 2007 and planted it in the spring of 2008. Further planning and maintenance is done in partnership with the student organization MULCH. In designing the garden, we hoped to fulfill these goals:

  • The garden provides food.
  • The garden encourages engagement from residents and passersby: eating from, sitting in.
  • All maintenance can be performed by students.
  • The garden is beautiful from houses, yards and street.
  • The garden prevents erosion in problematic areas.
  • The garden relies mainly on native plants of local origin where possible
  • The garden is a model. Can be seen and toured. Inspires further implementation.
  • The garden is a reason students want to live in EcoHouse.
  • The garden supports and enriches academic classes.


The forest garden acts as a model for urban and suburban landscaping which encourages close relationships between people and their environment, their food and their neighbors. It increases the diversity of plants, wildlife and food on campus.