It may sound like something out of a fairytale, but an edible forest is taking root in a very real community in Seattle. That’s right, urban permaculture projects are continuing to evolve, and the Beacon Food Forest project aims to design and plant an edible urban farm to bring the local community together while they rehabilitate the ecosystem and grow their own food. The idea sounds not only blissful and idyllic – it’s a brilliant sustainable project that will provide for the local community.
Designing a forest specifically for this sounds purpose like a complex system; according to the initiative, its a technique that mimics a woodland ecosystem by substituting edible trees and shrubs in specific places. Fruit and nut trees supposedly grow at the upper levels, and berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals are planted below. Certain beneficial plants are included around the base to provide natural protection from pests and others provide much needed soil nutrients such as nitrogen. When it works, the forest garden ecosystem can produce a lot of food through a this specific balance, meaning the thriving plants need less maintenance.
This fantastic idea is on the cards for a section of Jefferson Park, Seattle, which is just 2.5 miles from the downtown area. The team says it has several of the qualities needed to become a fertile site to grow and would welcome community gardening to the area. Although the forest isn’t a reality just yet, plans are underway and landscaping designs are taking shape.
Images courtesy of Beacon Food Forest