What is a Food Forest?
A Food Forest is a gardening technique or land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes in edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Fruit and nut trees are the upper level, while below are berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals. Companions or beneficial plants are included to attract insects for natural pest management while some plants are soil amenders providing nitrogen and mulch. Together they create relationships to form a forest garden ecosystem able to produce high yields of food with less maintenance.
What is the Beacon Food Forest?
We are integrating a Food Forest into the current designs for the area adjacent to the west side of Jefferson Park. Located just 2.5 miles from downtown Seattle, Jefferson Park hosts a variety of recreational opportunities, one of which could be community gardening. In 2010, a $20,000 City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) grant was provided to hire a design team to come up with a design based on input from three public design workshops. The design team selected included Margarett Harrison, a landscape architect with Harrison Design, and Jenny Pell, a permaculture designer with Permaculture Now!. In December of 2011 the project received $100,000 from the Department of Neighborhoods to begin phase one of the food forest plan.
Why Adjacent to Jefferson Park?
The area southwest of the Park as it stands now is sloped and covered in grass but offers exceptional sun exposure. The suns exposure and angle of the slope allows us to grow a large variety of plants and stretch our ability to grow foods from other climate zones. This in turn entices gardeners from all parts of the world to come and participate.
What can I do to help?
We are looking for Beacon Hill community members, local institutions and city wide volunteers to join together, build and grow a Food Forest. You can join our mailing list or become a volunteer by going here. You can also donate money to the project by going here
Friends of the Beacon Food Forest