After several years of planning, Seattle will grow the country’s first urban food forest. The 7-acre Beacon Food Forest will take root in a previously empty area adjacent to the west side of Jefferson Park, (approximately 2.5 miles away from downtown) and has the potential to be one of the country’s largest forest-gardens grown on public land.
According to organizer Melanie Carver, this food forest project is based on designing an edible landscape that is intended to thrive with minimal management. This means that the forest will include (among other plants) several different trees and bushes that self-propagate and generally do not heavily rely on intensive human management. To reflect the diversity of the surrounding Beacon Hill community, organizers also plan to feature temperate plant species from around the world, which will include a variety of pears, persimmons, cherries, and apples.
The forest will be built and managed by a community of volunteers, and the food will be free for the taking. The founders of the project also have plans to use the forest for other community projects including garden plots, resources for craft guilds (like plants for natural dyes and branches for basket-weaving), and other food-related experiments like mushroom cultivation.