Public Food Forest Please!

I love, love Seattle and after reading an article about their new project, my adoration and yearning to be there only increases. They are creating a public food forest! Genius, I mean it’s not as great as the natural foraging at our primal core, but it is a perfect balance and compromise of old meets new (especially great for city dwellers). Friends of the Food Forest had a dream and three years in the making, they are making it happen.

The end goal is an urban oasis of public food: Visitors to the corner of 15th Ave S. and S. Dakota Street will be greeted by a literal forest — an entire acre will feature large chestnuts and walnuts in the overstory, full-sized fruit trees like big apples and mulberries in the understory, and berry shrubs, climbing vines, herbaceous plants, and vegetables closer to the ground.

Further down the path an edible arboretum full of exotic looking persimmons, mulberries, Asian pears, and Chinese haws will surround a sheltered classroom for community workshops. Looking over the whole seven acres, you’ll see playgrounds and kid space full of thornless mini edibles adjacent to community gardening plots, native plant areas, a big timber-frame gazebo and gathering space with people barbecuing, a recreational field, and food as far as you can see.

How freaking cool is that! A great sense of community, of nature. Food now is like some weird science experiment. Treated, preserved, and packaged to somewhat resemble food, not the beautiful abundance of Nature. Something else that’s wonderful:

“If people had access to larger pieces of land to do projects like this you would see really different cultures emerging around these things,” she says. “If Seattle could provide 5 percent of its food from within the city, that would be more than almost any other city in the world. Even places that are really committed get less than 1 percent. Can you imagine what the city would be like if 10 percent of the food came from the city?”

Today’s post is an awareness piece on something wonderful happening, that I personally think needs to spread, just like grass-fed farms.


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