How Involved Are We in Public Food Forests?

As we work to set up public food forests on host land, a common question is, “How involved will you be in the process?” The answer is: it depends.

We can be as involved or not as the host wants us to be. Some hosts will want to pay for the plants, install it themselves, and manage it themselves. For hosts like this, we can offer training so they know what all the plants are, what to do with them, and how to manage it properly so that a healthy ecosystem is maintained.

Some hosts want to offer the use of their land but want us to fund, plant, and maintain the food forest. For these hosts, we will fundraise for the cost of the plants and rally volunteers to help plant and maintain it. We can organize gleaning events where a team of volunteers comes to harvest food and then donate it to local organizations or people who have requested it. Gleaners may choose to keep some of that food for themselves as well.

For all of the public food forests, we will create a design and plant list. We also ask that if it is called a public food forest that the public be allowed on the land to harvest. Otherwise, we are flexible! It is your land, and you are graciously allowing us to use it to grow food in a sustainable way. You choose what works best for your organization or collective, and we will plan around that.

Of course, the more you choose to be involved, the more smoothly things may run. Since you will be at the land more than we will, you will notice things that may need tending to. You can tend to it, or you can notify us. You may want to contribute to the fundraising or contribute an investment to the food forest. This will make things happen more easily. But in the end, what we need are host sites. If you can contribute land, we can make the other things happen.

If you have land on which the public is welcome and would like to host a public food forest, contact us to learn the next steps!