Yeah, I know... I sound like a crazy lady.
But every once in a long while, that statement is actually true. See, a friend had posted a meme on her wall which featured the branch of an apple tree. The text atop that branch talked about Seattle, WA and its attempt to create a "food forest" in one of its parks. This park, the meme said, would be the first of its kind in the nation.
As with most memes, it was partially true.
Seattle is indeed creating a fruit forest for its residents. Total Awesomeness!
It's called the Beacon Food Forest, named after Beacon Avenue, its future location.
Not only will the Beacon Food Forest have a fully functional fruit forest available to the public for free, but it is being designed using permacultural practices. This means that the trees, shrubs, and ground plants in the environment will be totally self-sustainable. Perennials will be planted, ensuring that everything actually comes back year after year.
It won't be totally permacultural in design, however. They want to make everyone as happy as possible, and sometimes that means making your food forest a bit more... farmish? That is, they'll have some spots that are more traditional in nature.
According to a 2012 article by Robert Mellinger, writer for crosscut.com,
“As much as we are promoting permaculture," Herlihy noted, "we have to allow other gardeners to freely express their ideas in their ways.”
To make everyone happy, the space will include more familiar urban farming features alongside the food forest: community garden plots, collectively managed plots, orchards, and edible arboretums, as well as a new concept Friends of the Food Forest are calling a “Tree-Patch”—much like a standard garden plot, but with a tree. (source)When finally complete, Beacon Food Forest is going to be the epitome of awesomeness!
You recall that I said the meme was partially correct, right?
Well, the incorrect part of the meme centers on one important point: the part about it being the first of its kind.
Yeah... it's totally not.
Asheville, NC, for example, has an edible park... and has had it for around 15 years! It still provides the community with edible surroundings, free for the community. If Asheville has had one for that long, you can be sure that there are even more elsewhere.
That doesn't take away from the awesomeness of the Seattle-based project, however. I mean, it's huge!!! Seven acres is nothing to scoff at!
If I'm ever in Seattle, I know one of the Places To See that will be on my list. By that time it may even be complete!