Are Community Food Forests The Way Of The Future?


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Written by: Kirsten Cowart

Wouldn’t it be incredible if there was a park in the middle of your city that grew food? One where anyone could go pick what they liked? What if the food was healthy and promoted more conscious eating practices?

Now, imagine how that would impact people in need, or struggling with hunger.  

What is incredible about this vision is that, if you live in Vancouver, Washington, then your dream is already coming true!

The Beacon Food Forest is being constructed on a 7-acre lot and will be open to foragers in the public!

The goal of the Beacon Food Forest is to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.“

This park will have many different edible plants, including an Edible Arboretum that contains fruit from all over the world, a patch of berries for canning, a grove for nuts with trees that provide the needed shade and sustenance, a community garden and a gathering place for local events, celebrations and education.

They are even working to build an educational kids area of the park that will teach the importance of sustainable living.

The idea started back in 2009 when a group of students, finishing up a permaculture class, had the idea of creating a food forest. After the word got around, the community began to get involved. The group was able to get a location for their project, lots of local volunteers and even a few grants to fund the whole thing.

The plan is to create a large abundance of food so that there is plenty for everyone who wants or needs it.  

This multi-phase plan is still being built a little at a time as the community finds success in each new section being built. You can even sign up to join the various work groups or sponsor your own patch of the project.

We are seeking the help of Beacon Hill community members, local institutions and city wide volunteers to join together to build and grow a Food Forest.“

Herlihy, who heads up the project, shares his hopes for the future of the local community around the food forest. “There’s Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipinos and Africans in the area. The Beacon Food Forest is a place where all ages and ethnicities can meet.”

Perhaps this will create a wonderful and welcoming space for everyone to connect and build something meaningful together.

Do you feel that cities all over the world should do this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.  



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Kirsten Campbell
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Kirsten Campbell

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
Kirsten Campbell
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