Book- IndieGoGo

The IndieGoGo campaign is unfortunately over but you can still learn about the project by clicking below:

Help us Visit Community Food Forests for our Book! | Indiegogo

About Us

We are a PhD graduate teaching assistant & community food forest organizer (Catherine Bukowski) and an agroforestry professor and forest management extension specialist. We coordinate a virtual community for forest farming networking and knowledge sharing and teach a class on agroforestry and whole-farm planning using permaculture site assessment and design principles.

What is a community food forest?

Over 80% of the American population now resides in urban areas, and food forests that are created and tended by communities are one of many strategies emerging across the US to reconnect urban populations to sources of local food and educate people on alternative production systems that are beneficial to the environment, public health and a community’s cultural and social fabric. Food forests, also known as forest gardens, are edible perennial landscapes modeled after a young forest ecosystem and an increasingly visible local food movement. Community food forests can be defined as forest gardens scaled to the community level, built with community input and generally open to the public for foraging and recreation. 

About the Book

We are researching community food forests across the United States to offer holistic planning strategies and best management practices to help current and future initiatives succeed. Currently there is little information out there on how to plan and manage food forests at the community scale and leaders searching for

Help us get to as many sites as possible to learn directly from the pioneers of the community food forest movement. We’re excited to write a book to share the results of our research and their personal experiences with social design, planning and management of these perennial edible gardens.

The book will discuss terminology, project planning, site design elements,  influential design fields, motivations and social movements, partnerships and collaboration considerations, lessons learned and best practices, frameworks for measuring the community food forest as a whole system and inspirational stories of some of the unique community food forests we visit throughout the country.

How Your Donation Helps

 The short answer: We will be able to travel to multiple sites collecting information and inspirational stories to produce a comprehensive and high quality book.

The longer answer: The financial support will primarily be used to cover travel costs to visit as many community food forest examples as we can. There are approximately forty community food forests currently across the US and new ones are initiated every year. We hope to visit at least half of them in areas spread throughout the country to capture regional differences. One site in Colorado and nine sites throughout New England, the Mid-Atantic and Appalachia were visited during 2014.

The next areas on the list are southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Pacific Northwest and the Midwest. If we surpass our $8,000 goal we are also hoping to include Austin, TX, Atlanta, GA, Jackson, MI, Nashville, TN and Florida. A smaller portion of the funding will also be used for equipment to create book-quality photos and illustrations, website management to keep people informed on the progress of the research and time to analyze the research results and transform it into writing!

This funding will allow us to focus on producing the book in a shorter period of time while making it more comprehensive by including multiple examples. If the entire funding goal is not reached, any amount we receive will go towards travel costs for a more limited number of sites, photos and illustrations.

The Impact

During visits and interviews in 2014 there was overwhelming interest from leaders and participants of community food forests in learning more about the design, partnerships, successes and challenges that other sites are experiencing. There aren’t many planning resources available that focus on community food forests and offer solid ideas on how to maintain volunteer engagement.

The book will help prepare future community food forest organizers with the tools and inspiration to get their projects up and running for the long term. For those already involved with a project it will provide guidance on how to analyze the whole system, evaluate stakeholder partnerships, improve design to maximize current assets and create a future vision for next steps.  


There will be a lot going on this year! Between traveling to sites, analyzing the data, finishing a PhD, writing the book and helping to organize a community food forest with the YMCA in Blacksburg, VA it may be difficult at times to stick to a consistent schedule of research updates through social media, but we’ll do the best we can!

Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you can’t contribute financially we are thankful for your support in helping to:

  • Spread the word about the campaign
  • Share our website address with friends to stay current on the research
  • Like the community food forest page on Facebook
  • Contact us with information on community food forests you know of, especially if you live in the research areas mentioned above! It takes a lot of time to track down the right people to talk with and any help is appreciated!

Indiegogo makes sharing easy with their share tools so spread the word to as many social media sites as you can!

Thank you for your support!!!!