Posted on February 29, 2012 by Nikki Fotheringham
Green living: Edible food forest for the city of Seattle
For over a century, the 7 acre stretch that is Beacon Hill sat idle in the center of the city. City officials held on to the land with no plans for development until local residents took matters into their own hands. Friends of the Food Forest was founded by local residents and though lobbying, garnering support among locals and raising money, the residents of
Beacon Hill managed to sway local officials and get permission to build a 7 acre food forest right in the heart of the city.
This incredibly inspirational project will create a public space where food can be grown and shared. Full sized fruit and nut trees will tower overhead, while fruit bearing vines, shrubs, herbs and veggies occupy the lower reaches.
The idea of growing food in the cities is not a new one. Guerrilla Gardeners have been growing vegetables and herbs in public spaces for quite some time. They even graft fruit trees onto public street trees. Schemes such as Toronto’s Farm with Us help local residents to grow veggies in their backyards and form networks where fruit and vegetables from city yards are shared or sold in organic stores. Now Seattle is taking the term ‘locavore’ to a whole new level.
The food forest will also feature an edible arboretum of foods like persimmons, Asian pears and mulberries. Playgrounds and community gardening plots, a big gazebo and gathering space where park-goers can barbeque and play in the recreational field.
Agriculturist Jenny Pell, was one of the food forest’s earliest supporters; “”If people had access to larger pieces of land to do projects like this you would see really different cultures emerging around these things. 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?”
What a great use of inner-city space, a fantastic resource for Seattleites and a great example of what can be achieved when a community works together.
See Food Rest Video Here: