Starting Anew

Starting Anew: Natural Rhythms and Cycles A Villard Blanc wakens from winter slumber and stretches...

Clifton Park Food Forest- Baltimore, MD

Can community food forests offer one strategy to create meaningful change? I am writing a...

Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park

Intro The oldest community food forest on the East Coast is hidden on Parks and...

Hazelwood Food Forest

Hazelwood Food Forest in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA is the first community food...


What is it? A simplistic definition of agroforestry is a sustainable land management system that...

Why are they called Community Food Forests?

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.

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3 days ago

Community Food Forests

Happy #EarthDay to everyone!!! If you are celebrating Earth Day at your community food forest- share your ideas here!!!

This weekend was an exciting one that spoke to me about the essence of #communityfoodforests. Specifically, the power behind the idea of creating a space where people can be in unity about all the topics and related themes having to do with a public food commons focused on perennial growing of people, food, and ideas that serve a greater good. There is a mindset cultivated in such places that makes every day Earth Day. The idea itself holds a space, which is not bounded by location, for conversations that connect people, bring hope, recognize our global interconnectedness, and remind us we are Nature. We have the power to take action and model a way of living, in daily life and in the built environment that honors a community greater than just humans, one that includes all beings, all forms of life, and which recognizes us as a part of Nature rather apart from it.

When I started my research in 2013, I didn't quite realize that power yet. In 2014 I was starting to catch glimpses of it and my continuous Internet searching for #communityfoodforests to visit for my research led me to info on one starting in Austin, TX. I reached out to one of the key people starting it, Elizabeth Walsh, to find out it's actual status. Although I ended up not visiting it because they hadn't broken ground yet, Elizabeth and I had a wonderful conversation that helped me understand more fully the essence of these spaces. From that one conversation, a virtual friendship blossomed and because of Elizabeth's amazing way of seeing connections, an opportunity for me to participate in a fellowship (#ByronFellowship) that has positively impacted my life, and continues to, in numerous ways.

When I landed in Austin last week and reached out to Elizabeth, who moved years ago, and told her I was going to visit the food forest, she told me she had just landed!! So 5 years later, the #FestivalBeachFoodForest looks amazing and I had the honor of finally meeting Elizabeth there, participate in celebrating community in that special space, a union of two individuals, and meeting some of the wonderful people behind caring for a small tract of Earth in a public space where so much more than food is cultivated and harvested. Expect a blog post soon that will tell you more about the #foodforest with videos and photos! Have important conversations and take action! Every day can be Earth Day!!
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