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Monday, March 19, 2012

What is a Food Forest?

The Internet is abuzz lately over a Food Forest that is being proposed in Seattle. The Beacon Food Forest is a proposal that has been given to the city of Seattle as a potential community garden area on a 7 acre plot in Jefferson Park. It sounds a little different than a normal community garden or park. Here is a picture of the site schematic.

According to the Beacon Food Forest website a food forest is a "gardening technique or land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes in edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.  Fruit and nut trees are the upper level, while below are berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals.  Companions or beneficial plants are included to attract insects for natural pest management while some plants are soil amenders providing nitrogen and mulch.  Together they create relationships to form a forest garden ecosystem able to produce high yields of food with less maintenance."

This sounds like community gardening on steroids as it goes beyond the garden to creating and entirely edible ecosystem. This is not an edible ecosystem the likes of Willy Wonka either. It's not candy, but instead, food that is good or healthy for you. Eat your heart out Willy.

While it seems like a great idea, I couldn't find a lot of information on how this will be funded and since money makes the world go round, a big part of their success will be determinant on whether they can raise funds and make it economically feasible.

I am a big fan of any idea that gives people that might not otherwise have the chance to garden, the opportunity to grow their own fresh food. I hope this works and I look forward to following the progress of the Beacon Food Forest.

Write a comment below if you have participated in something similar to the Food Forest. I would love to feature other successful community gardens or food forests on our blog.




No way. I don't want to eat anything where the public has access. That's why I eat things grown in my enclosed backyard.

I think that if someone really, truly wants to garden that they can find a way. All of us are limited by our own creativity.

fullfreezer said...

We're trying to do some permaculturing on our acreage. I was fortunate to be able to attend a 2 day workshop with Dave Jacke a few years ago. He and his books are great inspirations. I'll be interested to see how this community project plays out.

Stoney Acres said...

I have seen a project like this before. I wish I could remember where. I was on a documentary filmed by a British farmer. The forest garden was somewhere in England in the north. It sounded really interesting.

Anonymous said...

There is a fellow in Shropshire, England who writes a blog about his adventures in permaculture on his farm. Perhaps that's him.