There is a very exciting project set to break ground in the abundant food scene of Seattle. This summer Seattle is going to begin the first stage of what is planned to become the United States’ largest food forest. The food forest will be located on a seven-acre plot in Beacon Hill, and has been dubbed the Beacon Food Forest.
The first stage will be to plant a two-acre area with fruit bearing perennials, such as pears, apples, plums, grapes, raspberries and an array of nut trees. The food forest will be built on permaculture principles, which seek to replicate natural ecosystems. Fruit will be available for residents and visitors to come and harvest as they please. Organizers hope that people will pick only as much as they need and save some for everybody else. Despite this hope organizers say that, regardless of if people over-pick for themselves, they base the success of the program on all the fruit being eaten.
If all things go well with the two-acre test plot it is anticipated that the Beacon Food Forest will expand to seven-acres and include community play spaces, garden plots, and an arboretum. The Friends of Beacon Food Forest have been the main community group driving for the creation of this project, which they hope will be a place for all ages and ethnicities as well as an example of the potential of permaculture.
What a great use of the urban landscape! I’m excited to go visit this project some day. It’s also got me wondering where in Toronto would be a good location for a food forest. Where in Toronto would you like to create a food forest?