I’m going to go out on a limb here and try to make an analogy that I hope will help you see food forests the way I do. Food forests, particularly community food forests, are like a passion flower. There are layers that build upon each other, with multiple components to each layer. Together, they create a beautiful whole. If a part is missing, we can still perceive the beauty of the flower, but it’s not at its most magnificent. Something will always seem off. The physical structure- the layers of plants themselves are built on an invisible structure of partnerships that come together to turn the idea of a food forest into a physical reality. Those partnerships are built on and from multiple ideas, motivations, goals and commitments that are affected by the availability of tangible and intangible community assets. A food forest can be constructed without having all the necessary components present, but just like the passion flower, it will never be at its most magnificent when a few parts are missing.