Great idea: Urban edible forest
Imagine popping by your local neighborhood park, and finding a contemporary Garden of Eden. Cities from Portland, Oregon to Brooklyn, New York are experimenting with urban agriculture — whether they be farms on industrial rooftops or local parks turned into volunteer-tended community gardens. Seattle Times reports on a alternate to the standard vegetable garden: an urban edible forest.
Glenn Herlihy, one of the urban food forest visioneers who studies permaculture envisions a forest of fruit and nut trees growing out of a carpet of berry shrubs and other annuals and perennial edible plants: ”All of these plants work together like a forest ecosystem,” Herlihy explains, “but they are edible.” The current plan is to turn two acres of grass on Seattle’s Beacon Hill into one such urban food forest.
Ultimately, the Times writes, ”Herlihy envisions thick plots of nut trees, such as walnuts and hazelnuts, next to apple, pears and plum trees. Underneath will be huckleberries, salmonberries and even salal, a native shrub. Herbs like rosemary will also be planted. The group plans to install beehives to aid with pollination.” The produce would be freely available for the picking and maintained by a community of volunteers. Great idea.
Image courtesy of Wikicommons via liz west from Boxborough, MA