An Urban Food Forest is an area within a city with fruit and nut trees, complemented by berry shrubs, herbs and companions plants that help avoid pests and diseases, and that provide nitrogen, nutrients and mulch to the soil. Together, they can produce high yields of food with little need for maintenance.
Urban Food Forests can offer people healthy food and places to gather and relax, while also helping regarding climate change and longer-term food security. They can be living seed banks, featuring trees and shrubs that are at risk of extinction around the world, among many local varieties, allowing people to compare and collect seeds to enrich their private gardens and preserve precious species. They can offer people opportunities to share and study agricultural techniques that are sustainable and suitable for urban settings, such as permaculture and organic farming.
One such forest is proposed for Jefferson Park in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle, where the slopes allow a large variety of plants to grow, from a range of climate zones. Above image is from Friends of the Beacon Hill Food Forest, who are working with a landscape architect and volunteers to plan and execute the project in Seattle.