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Brief Published: 13 Jun 2013

Seattle’s Free Food Forest


To give Seattle’s visitors access to a broad range of fresh produce, landscape developers – in conjunction with affordable-food advocates – are building an edible food forest near the US city’s centre.

The seven acre, self-sustaining forest will evoke a natural woodland environment. It will include an edible arboretum featuring fruit trees from around the world, a berry patch with fruits suitable for preservation, and a community garden where local families can grow their own crops. 

The Beacon Food Forrest was first conceived by local design students in 2009, and has taken four years to begin construction. Seattle’s local council is backing the venture through funding and co-ordinating design teams to advance the project, while local volunteers have helped to prepare the land for planting. 

The Beacon Food website states: "Our goal 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.” Seattle-based newspaper The Star reports that the first harvest will mature in autumn 2014. 

For more on the rise of urban foraging, see Stylus’ report on The New Hunter-Gatherer, as well as our interview with Sweden’s professional forager in Roland Rittman: The Collector. For further insights into how ecological planning is impacting the future of cities, see RCA: New Edible Ideals.

Beacon Food Forest