Low-Hanging Fruit: Can an Edible Forest Take Root in Seattle? - Environment - GOOD | green streets | Scoop.it
Imagine if your neighborhood park doubled as a communal orchard. Out of fruit in the fridge? Just stroll down the block and pluck the first ripe pear you see. It may sound like a hippie fantasy, but residents of Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood could soon be living that dream, with a community group planning to break ground on the country's largest "food forest" this summer.

According to longtime Beacon Hill resident Glenn Herlihy, the working-class neighborhood is sparse on public green space, despite having acres of grassland spread out around around a long-defunct reservoir. While taking a class on permaculture—the agricultural philosophy that mimics the dynamics of a natural ecosystem—Herlihy and collaborators used their final project to come up with a plan to "to regenerate this land back into something edible and natural."

The result was what Herlihy calls a "dream design." "There were no boundaries here, we just kind of went nuts and designed the most sustainable beautiful garden we could think of," he says. The plan created the groundwork for the formation of a community group, outreach efforts to neighbors and local bureaucracy, and, eventually, grants from the city. Now Friends of the Beacon Hill Food Forest is working with a landscape architect and volunteers to plan and execute the project...