In case you missed it:

Sam Bliss (@theblisspoint) reports on the Beacon Food Forest for Grist.

A couple of miles south of downtown Seattle lies the nation’s largest public edible garden. The Beacon Food Forest is a community gathering space featuring organic perennial plants, and for some, it’s a terrific example of what is called the “real sharing economy.” A group came up with the idea in 2009; the city approved the plans in 2012.

So what’s a food forest exactly?


“A woodland ecosystem that you can eat,” says Glenn Herlihy, one of the BFF’s founders. A food forest mimics how a wild forest works, but swaps in species that are edible or otherwise useful to humans and other animals. Fruit trees and nut trees cast shade (on sunny days) over berry shrubs, herbs, and veggies, while vines climb up trunks and trellises. Underneath, healthy soil teems with tiny life, storing carbon, water, and other nutrients necessary for plant growth. The BFF leans on permaculture farming, which uses ecological design and a bit of good ol’ human labor to create multi-species gardens that bring forth mountains of flavorful, nourishing grub without fossil fuels or other polluting substances.

There’s been a great deal of interest in the project, and urban farmers abound, but the BFF hopes to diversify and reach more of its neighbors. Stay tuned.


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