The edible food forest movement is growing. Planted on public lands, tended by volunteers and neighbors, created with the blessings and assistance of city park systems, food forests are growing up in communities across the country. In Iowa City, “The goal of the Wetherby Park Edible Forest is to design, plant, and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food, and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.”
In Baltimore, 20% of our population are unable to obtain and anticipate on a regular basis sufficient , healthy, desirable foods. That translates in 120,000 people. Imagine if thousands of them could walk out their front doors, down the street and help manage and then harvest varieties of fresh foods for nine months out of the year: perennial vegetables, varieties of fruits, healthy nuts. Some of this food would be eaten right away. The rest could either be stored for later consumption or “put up” – canned, jellied, dried, frozen – for consumption over the winter months.
We can do this – Baltimore has an enormous resource in unused, poorly used and under-utilized land throughout the city.
We can do this on private property, but that might limit access. We could also do this on public lands – vacant lots that can be secured for 25 years, parkland that can be dedicated to building strong, healthy communities in body and spirit for generations.
But we need your help – to encourage the city to use the parks in this way, and to build the social capital, ie, the people and passion, to care for these food forests over the years.
Sign up on our Meet Up page to join us.