Think foraging is only reserved for people like Bear Grylls or extreme outdoorsy types? Turns out it’s coming to a city near you.
Food forests are something like a community garden combined with a public park. They offer a nice place to spend time, but also are home to a ton of fruit-bearing trees and plants.
The key difference is that eventually these forests will be self-sustaining and won’t require any maintenance. This of course takes time, but several areas have already started getting the ball rolling.
The Beacon Food Forest in Seattle is already well underway in creating a space where members can freely forage in a lush edible forest. It is seven acres and offers fruits and vegetables like zucchini, green beans and acorn squash.
The design of the forest is set to model how an actual forest would grow, but with a focus on the food-bearing varieties of plants and trees.
Beacon is one of the first of its kind and set to be one of the largest, but other cities in the United States are also planning on having their own food forests or other kinds of free fruit.
San Francisco Urban Orchard Project works with community-based organizations in planting and maintaining publicly accessible fruit trees. Besides free fruit, the idea is to help offset the carbon produced in the city.
Philadelphia has its own system of food forests, which are not yet self-sustaining, but are on their way.
If this food forest idea is starting to really catch your interest, but you don’t live near any of these areas, you can use the websites Falling Fruit or Neighborhood Fruit to find local fruit-bearing trees in your area. Most are in public areas, but some are located on private property, where you should ask before taking any fruit.
A wise city should invest in a food forest as it would help local communities learn about food cultivation and also provide a healthy lifestyle for the locals who may not always be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, it would be a nice place for people to visit.