A community garden project in Seattle has had plans approved to build the largest ever public food forest in the U.S. The group, called Beacon Food Forest, plan to landscape a 7-acre site for locals to stroll through and pick freshly grown food.
It really is a little comunity garden of Eden with all manner of foods and wildlife proposed: bees, fruit trees, berries, herbs, vines and vegetables to name a few. They'll be specific community gardening plots, classrooms, exotic ingredients and this has been no easy feat.
The project has taken three years to plan, involved thousands of local residents and numerous community meetings, plans, and of course plan re-writes. But after gaining momentum, the project which was started by Beacon Hill gardener Glenn Herlihy, has raised funds and now includes a number of local public bodies to help manage the development.
The group will employ the techniques of permaculture - a community driven ideal of building self sustaining areas and settlements that have a purpose of educating the local community. And with lots of support now gathered, approval given and plans in place - it's time to test whether the people of Seattle and Beacon Hill will take to the initiative and develop their green fingers.
If they do, surely this is the start of an exciting initiative that may well see more large scale public food forests opening around America. The idea of community gardening is not new but something of this scale and diversity is a very exciting development in the world of permaculture. The Cuban Government has run community gardening projects for years that give residents the opportunity to grow their own foods on local land and according the the Organic Consumers Association, around 30,000 people in La Havana alone take part in the schemes.
This idea in Seattle is is one with so much momentum, financial backing and government approval that it's likely to go ahead. The only thing that can stop it now is the lack of local drive to forget the convenience of supermarkets and instead head to forage for dinner in the forest.