Food forests provide a space where a community can grow and function while developing a sense of place. Disconnect between people and place often inhibits civic process and progress. In a community food forest humans are integrated with each other and their landscape rather than separated.
Food is embedded in culture, politics, health and community. Growing food is empowering. It is a basic need transcending race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sex, socioeconomic status or political affiliation. Food forests offer a way to reconnect people to each other and to a source of food.
Why the word forest? In their infancy sites might not look like a forest ecosystem, just as an open field does not resemble a forest in early stages of succession. Succession takes time to reach a mature state. Over time these systems will evolve into a replication of the structure and function of a forest ecosystem.