Plant a food forest

December 15, 2017

Jodi Lastman

When asked about fruit trees many urbanites will list problems with messy fruit, wasp allergies, and wildlife bandits. In spite of this, edible parks and public food forests have been popping up in urban centres and small cities alike. This new perennial community gardening trend has taken off across the world from Canada to the US to New Zealand.

What makes edible forests, and edible hedges, so attractive to these groups? I spoke with Nicola Thomas who, inspired by her experience growing up in England where berries were readily available to pick and eat while walking through the neighborhood, founded a community organization called Grand River Food Forestry. Nicola has spent the last 3 years planting six community food hedges throughout the Waterloo region, with eight more to be installed this year.

Nicola told us about her experiences in helping communities to build food hedges (coined “fedges”) and here is what we learned:

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