Why food forests are a thing

Urban orchards are dropping everything from apples to persimmons to avocados on Seattle, Bloomington, Ind., Boston, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other North American cities. Groups like the Portland Fruit Tree Project advocate for public access to existing fruit trees so that people can glean crops that would otherwise go uneaten — an idea some are calling radical. Other groups are more interested in planting new groves of fruit trees on previously fallow city land.

Fruit trees produce food, but also provide shade, keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, improve water quality and may even deter crime. Advocates say they also have a longer lasting impact on communities than vegetable beds.

“When you plant lettuce, you produce food for today, which is great, but when you plant a tree, you’re feeding people tomorrow,” says Nina Beth Cardin, director of the Baltimore Orchard Project, a program of the Baltimore non-profit Civic Works. The orchard project has planted thousands of apple, serviceberry, pawpaw, fig and pear trees on public and private land around Baltimore. City officials, striving to meet a goal of increasing the city’s tree canopy, have been providing starter trees to Cardin’s group, which in turn helps churches and schools plant and learn to maintain fruit trees.

Read more here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/05/21/408293431/urban-food-forests-make-fruit-free-for-the-picking?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social


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