Taking the urban garden to the next level, Seattle, Washington has officially broken ground on a dedicated seven acre area of city land set to be converted into an “edible forest” that will produce free food for the city’s residents and visitors, human or otherwise.
According to the Beacon Food Forest’s website, the project’s mission is “to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.” The perennial permaculture forest project, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., will eventually be self-sustaining, much like the way a forest in nature works. Creating the self-sustaining environment is reliant upon the types of soil, insect life and companion plants placed strategically within the environment.
Seattle’s Beacon Food Forest, located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, will provide an array of edible fruit-bearing plants including apple, pear, persimmon, chestnut and walnut trees; and edible berries such as blueberry, lingonberry and raspberry.
The project, which is already underway, is set to take several years to fully develop the seven acre plot just 2.5 miles from downtown Seattle. After aggressive outreach efforts by the Friends of the Food Forest community group to secure the plan were successful, the innovative planting initiative is underway securing permits to create the nation’s first “food forest.”
Not only will the edible forest provide free food to anyone with access to its bounty, but it will also provide healthy fruits and nuts, which are an important part of every diet and can often be unaffordable for families.