A new park in Seattle will become a food forest comprised of hundreds of edible plants from berries, pineapple, guava and walnuts to herbs. It will all be available for public picking to anyone walking into the site.
The Beacon Food Forest is designed to grow edible plants that are also beneficial to the local soil and ecosystem. Fruit and nut trees will be in the upper level and berry shrubs and edible perennials will be below. The whole forest will cover about seven acres, including some facilities such as a sheltered classroom, a gazebo and recreational areas. Workshops will be offered in the new food forest on fruit tree care, plant identification and food preservation such as canning and drying.
Initially there were public meetings to discuss how the space could be used. “They wanted everything from bees, to classrooms, to gardens, to kids’ playgrounds, bikes racks, fruit trees (lots of fruit trees and berries), and open space,” explained Jenny Pell, one of the co-founders. (Source: CrossCut) This land parcel has been a sloping lawn owned by the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) for about a century.
Some critics might say, “This edible plant park will undoubtedly draw more homeless people to the city, it shouldn’t be completed.” If it was planted and maintained in a sunny warm place like Los Angeles, with its 80,000 homeless people, it might be difficult to manage. Seattle though, only has about 8,000, so a food forest could help feed some of them because they might eat less suspect or even spoiled food from dumpsters if there are fruits and nuts available for picking.
Research has shown urban gardens have a tremendous untapped potential to feed millions of people.
You can follow the Beacon Food Forest by reading their updates on FaceBook.
Image Credit: City of Seattle
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