Bountiful Urban Food Forests Around The World

Categories: Green

The Seven Layers of a Food Forest. Diagram by Graham Burnett via Wikipedia.

The concept of a food forest has its roots in permaculture, a philosophy that advocates for managing agricultural landscapes in harmony with nature. The practice emphasizes perennial, low-maintenance crops that leverage natural nutrient inputs, drainage patterns and climate to achieve a self-sustaining, food-producing ecosystem. A food forest is quite literally a forest that produces food for people (and, most certainly, forest critters) to eat. Nut and fruit-producing trees and shrubs are planted with herbs, vines and ground flora that produce fruits, vegetables, and edible greens and roots. Urban communities are increasingly taking up the practice as a way to put underutilized city land to work and combine urban agriculture goals with goals for open space, recreation, and community development.

Here's a quick rundown of 20 urban food forests or related projects:

  1. London, England

Launched in London in 2011, the London Orchard Projects works with community groups to inventiry, restore and create urban orchards across the city.

  1. Edmonton, Alberta

The City of Edmonton is expanding its urban food forest footprint with this 25-species edible ecosystem.

  1. Seattle, Washington

Tree fruits, berries and vegetables are free for the taking ni Seattle's Beacon Forest Neighborhood.

  1. Cowichan Valley, British Columbia

"The food forest is growing into an enchanting place, where community can explore new perspectives on food production, creative land use, and urban sustainability," Tessa Stiven, Food Forest project supervisor, told the Cowicha Valley Citizen.

  1. Asheville, North Carolina

Built on the site of a former a trash heap, this urban forest garden has been feeding the residents of a low-income African American neighborhod near Asheville since 1997.

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