In the interest of giving back to our wonderful Earth we all take so for-granted, I thought I would spread the word of a novel concept in creating a sustainable food forest for the community to enjoy! Last spring, I noticed several folks working in this notoriously empty lot near a favorite little league ball park in Oak Harbor on Bayshore Drive. They were developing what looked to be a large garden! I pass that site at least once a week on my way to go shopping. In mid-summer, driving by with my cameras in tow, I saw the group working what grew into a really beautiful garden of herbs, vegetables, fruit and flowers, complete with a cob-straw wall! There was a wheelbarrow filled with harvested veggies and a sign that read “Free food!” I’m thinking that there has to be a catch to all of this but nonetheless, I needed to stop and take photos of it all! Well, along with those photos (I always ask permission to photograph other folks’ things, so….)I wound up taking home some wonderful beets, their greens and kale, which I shared with my next door neighbor. The only “catch” is to volunteer to work the gardens, but you don’t have to work to pick up free harvested food.
This idea is not a new one; there are apparently a few of these food forest going up around the Pacific Northwest to include one specifically on Beacon Hill in Seattle. They are also springing up across the United States and the Oak Harbor website for Whidbey’s food forest mentions one in Philadelphia! Beyond the United States, New Zealand has embraced the concept, according to the Oak Harbor food forest website which is at Imaginepermaculture.org. Feel free to get involved, grab some goodies but mainly, check out their website! The slideshow below is about that garden I saw in late July!