Urban communities are seeing a resurgence of the farming concept called Food Forest. The idea entails mimicking nature by converting lands into edible landscapes. The trees yield various vegetables, nuts, and fruits for public consumption, making them “edible forests.”
Food Forest vs. Community Gardens
Food forests resemble the more traditional community gardens, but the two have notable differences. For instance, community gardens require individuals to rent or maintain plots, burdening low-income families.
Edible forests typically receive funds through grants or community deeds. Regarding labor, volunteers help maintain the forest until it develops into a self-sustaining feature (after about three years). Upon maturity, the harvest reduces food insecurity and brings the community together.
Promoting Community Health
In addition to providing food, food forests provide scenic spaces for all to enjoy. These forests help preserve biodiversity and save on the energy needed to distribute food to families.
Also, the rise of edible forests is helping to revegetate underutilized and abandoned spaces to bring forth fresh produce for consumption in the urban areas.
However, be warned that edible forests face a handful of challenges – such as a lack of funding and volunteers. Community planners have an opportunity to address these concerns using thoughtful design, getting stakeholders closer to their food and back into the garden.
Eden’s Edible Forests
Eden homes integrate food forest planning directly into the design of our communities. Our Edible Forests create common areas that include nature trails and environmental features.
We’re excited to hear from you about your community gardens, shared spaces, and edible forests. Let’s trade tips and grow together!