Beacon Food Forest
Beacon Food ForestPublished on Jun 11, 2012InterChange Media in collaboration with the Beacon Food Forest created this video that will be shown at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 June 20-22, 2012.
The Beacon Hill neighborhood in Seattle, Washington is building an urban food forest on 7 acres of public land. Located in one of the most diverse zip codes in the United States, their neighborhood community has come together to grow their own food to rehabilitate the local ecosystem, improve public health and educate about the climate impact of food production. The project will break ground in July 2012.
Music composed by Erica Hilario. Special thanks to Glenn Herlihy one of the co-founders who spent a lot of time helping us create the video. Thanks also to Jacqueline Cramer, Giovanni Dellino, Barbara Jefferson, Margaret Harrison and to everyone involved with the project.
Donations can be made to the Beacon Food Forest at: beaconfoodforest.org
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 hereP-Patch Community GardensBeacon Food ForestCommunity members are developing plans for an innovative food forest along the western slope of the recently expanded Jefferson Park. Development is set to begin for the first phase of the food forest with funding support from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy.What's New?Beacon Food Forest has been getting lots of love in the past couple of weeks! Check out some of our recent coverage:The Salt Blog, NPRGet Involved!Development is just ramping up for the food forest's phase one. The best way to stay informed is through the Beacon Food Forest facebook page. Also, be sure to join the interest list to let us know you are interested in this P-Patch.Outreach OpportunitiesTo ensure that all people from the diverse Beacon Hill neighborhood have the opportunity to be a part of the food forest, DON has hired a number of Outreach Service Providers(OSP) to assist with outreach in various communities.Getting a Garden PlotNew garden plots are assigned based on involvement. While the City provides support, new gardens are built by the community. Neighbors come together to envision, design, and eventually construct a unique garden that meets their needs and reflects their neighborhood identity. Thus, community commitment through volunteering is the primary factor in assigning plots in a new garden. If you are interested in getting a plot join the Interest List and please see How Plots are Assigned.HistoryThe Beacon Food Forest started in 2009 as a final design project for a permaculture design course. The site chosen is a 7-acre area which is currently all grass, on the western terraced slopes of what was thought to be Jefferson Park but in reality is owned by Seattle Public Utilities. The design was then presented to the community of Beacon Hill, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, and Seattle Public Utilities to see if there was support for such a project. Support was granted in the form of an SAS grant from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for $22,000 in December of 2010 to hire a design consultant and create a schematic design for a food forest. In March of 2011 the Friends of Beacon Food Forest hired The Harrison Design Team consisting of Margarett Harrison, Jenny Pell, Dave Boehnlein and Kris Pendleton. After a series of community meetings the team presented a final schematic (viewable here). In December 2011 the project received a $100,000 award from the Parks & Green Spaces Levy for design and construction for a 1-acre portion of the 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. Learn more about food forests at the Edible Food Gardens website.FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE P-PATCH COMMUNITY GARDENING PROGRAM CONTACT:
Laura Raymond, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Laura.Raymond@... 206-615-1787
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