URBAN FOOD FORESTS SPROUTING UP
Urban food forests are popping up in cities — places where people often don’t live close to a ordable, healthy food shops, let alone farmland. The situation is even worse in poorer neighbourhoods, a phenomenon known as food deserts. It’s an international trend many are trying to reverse by planting gardens in empty lots, former land ills, even on barges to give urban dwellers a taste of the homegrown. Here are some ways cities are putting down roots.
3 A loating forest: The Swale project is a forest open to foragers atop an old barge that travels to piers around New York City promoting public food. Visitors can harvest herbs, fruits and vegetables for free. The artist behind the project hopes more of the city’s parkland can be converted into usable food-growing territory. INSTAGRAM MARY MATTINGLY
2 Guerilla gardening: In South Central L.A., gardener Ron Finley came out victorious in a showdown with a developer who wanted to seize the land he uses as a community garden. Big names like Bette Midler helped fund the $550,000 the developer demanded, especially after Finley’s rousing TED Talk on guerilla gardening in empty lots. His pitch: “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”
1 Making an agrihood: In Detroit, The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is turning derelict buildings into an urban “agrihood,” an alternative growth model that puts local food at the middle of development. The food forest is spread over vacant land, occupied and abandoned homes, and provides free produce to about 2,000 households.
4 Trees from trash: The CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne, Australia is built on a decommissioned land ill that was once a bluestone quarry. They now use solar energy to power a cafe and workshop space, while the farm yields hundreds of pounds of vegetables a year, plus a bush food nursery.
5 Get on the vine: San Francisco has taken a love of wine to the grassroots with the Neighborhood Vineyards project. Through the hillside nooks and crannies of Alemany Farms, 349 Pinot Noir vines thrive. The group provides education about viticulture, while of course bottling and selling their own wine.