Into the woods
How Seattle plants a public food forest
Food forests have been called the next evolution in urban farming, with Beacon Food Forest notable for its aim to create an edible landscape on public land through community effort. Seven acres at the edge of a Seattle, Washington (US) park are now slated to be turned into the nation’s largest public “food forest.”
Cross posted by Grist
“Laura Raymond, who works with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ P-Patch community garden program, said she’s seen increasing interest in permaculture in recent years. ‘There’s a growing interest in gardening, in people connecting to food and where food comes from,’ she said. ‘There’s also this growing interest in berries and fruit trees and orchards. Permaculture is a way for people to see all these things coming together.’”
What is a Food Forest?
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.
Picture: Flickr © meganpru - Noyo Food Forest's Learning Garden