Growers of Texas Hill Country Native Trees, Shrubs, & Edibles
Design, Installation & Maintenance
Michael Wolfert has been helping to design, develop and manage the grounds and nursery at Hill Country Natives for 3 years. He has been the lead consultant at Symbiosis for 2 year. He is a certified Permaculture Designer and Instructor, helping people meet their sustainability goals while upgrading their quality of life. He specializes in Forest Gardens, Food Forests & Vegetable garden design installation and maintenance. He’s currently offering landscape design, installation & maintenance with an eye for efficiency. Your home, gardens and other systems can become lower cost and produce a higher yield while being more enjoyable to interact with. Michael is also currently taking on new clients with land in the Austin area who would like to develop profitable, sustainable systems, growing food, building soil and re-balancing our water cycles in Central Texas. For more information you can visit his website Symbiosis. Or contact him directly by e-mail to set up a consultation.
Here are some projects Michael has been involved with:
This picture is from a medium scale project. The fenced area is about 1/4 of an acre. These raised beds were custom designed and built for ease of access, maximum longevity, and with enough room to grow all the staple vegetables (or calorie crops) for at least one family. Down hill is the food forest plot where we’ve put in a huge variety of fruit trees, berry bushes, asparagus, alliums, vegetables, leguminous cover crops, support trees and native attractors. This 1/4 acre of rocky hill side will provide a constant and varied yield with minimal inputs. Yields will increase over time and the soil will improve as plants and the biology they will draw in add organic matter accumulate or unlock other nutrients and self propagate.
This 160′ Berm was designed & planted by our Food Forests For All workshop participants in 2014. This is a farm scale project on 10 acres 45 minutes outside of Austin. The berms were put in with heavy equipment and feed into 3 main ponds when we have very heavy rains that fill them beyond capacity. This 160 foot berm was planted by our Food Forests For All workshop participants in 2014. Soon after this photo was taken, the cover crops sprouted and irrigation was put in to help our perennial systems establish through their first summers.
Who needs a truck? We use high fuel efficiency vehicles whenever possible.
Harvesting bamboo locally to build sustainable fencing for livestock.
This site is a 7,000 square foot lot in an urban environment. In this picture you can see one of the main swales we installed. using earthworks and rain water catchment we’ve managed to catch about 95% of the water falling onto the site as well as the 3 neighboring lots up hill. We’ve planted about 40 Fruit trees that will be kept tightly pruned to save space. We also have 60 Berry Bushes, 30 asparagus and enough space to grow a significant quantity of vegetables. The cover crop consists of crimson clover, hairy vetch, austrian winter pea, daikon radish, arugula & turnips. Native attractors and insectiary plants make this site a haven for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other beneficial biology. There’s a small chicken flock that will forage in the food forest. A solar array, house re-built with sustainable natural building practices and an outdoor social area. You can do allot with a small space.
These clients didn’t want to maintain a lawn, spending precious resources just for aesthetics. We helped them to suppress the grass with a sheet mulch and planted a mix of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants with culinary and medicinal uses.
A new Food Forest Planting 20 miles north of San Antonio. We designed and installed a system including 29 Fruit trees, 30 thornless blackberries, 30 asparagus, a multifunctional cover crop seeding, soil amendments and timed drip irrigation. All installed on a large berm & swale that will passively in soak rain water runoff, prevent erosion and help to rehydrate the land scape. Check back in the spring & summer to see an updated photo of how this system grows in.
This garden highly productive and provides so much joy throughout the year! I installed the drip irrigation so they can take vacation without worrying the garden will get too dry.
A vegetable/ rain garden hybrid, growing in the front yard as part of the food forest.
Food Forest at the Whole Life Learning Center. A collaborative design created and installed by the Food Forests For All workshop participants.
Vegetable gardens, perennials, and pathways all freshly sheet mulched. One of the best ways to build soil, increase insoak and retain moisture.
Taking an existing forest with 4-5 tree species and adding diversity. We increase the wildlife forage and habitat and add resilience to the ecosystem.
The garden beds and fence to the right were built from reclaimed lumber. The trellises were built from bamboo that needed to be cleared anyway so they were saved from the waste stream and up cycled to a useful purpose.
A front yard Food Forest in Austin.
We built this pergola and it will soon be covered in beautiful vines.
In ground garden beds.
Drip irrigation installed with a timer so you can water efficiently even through the summer.
Wicking (AKA sub irrigation) Beds. these self contained units can be installed even on decks or other areas without soil beneath. They’re the most efficient option for water use and look great too!
French drain guiding water under a walkway to a berm and swale system where most of that water gets soaked up.
Growing herbs and veggies near your kitchen is fun and efficient. Take a stroll before you cook to gather some food you’ve grown.
Organic vegetables growing in the heart of Austin Texas
The forest garden at Hill Country Natives
Vegetable, hummingbird and butterfly garden in late summer.