Growing Ecologies: Growing Communities
Keywords:Food Forests, Public Space, Urban Agriculture, Community
The contemporary community gardening and urban agriculture movements have transformed the fundamental notion of the city, challenging the urban/rural dichotomy and applying an agronomic model to remake urban spaces as productive systems. Recently, another model has emerged, that of the food forest, which is based on the form and function of forest ecosystems for producing food. Much like the early innova-tive efforts of urban agriculture, community supported agriculture operations (CSAs), and other alternative food system projects, the emergence of food forests across the country has been a grassroots effort informed by a few key references and with little coordination across individual efforts.
The Community Food Forest Handbook: How to Plan, Organize, and Nurture Edible Gathering Places provides a very timely and thorough overview of this new type of productive landscape. Of the 30 food forest projects that form the basis of the book, only one has been in existence for more than 10 years. The authors, Catherine Bukowski, a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech, and John Munsell, professor in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment at Virginia Tech, each with extensive experience in agroforestry, summarize the lessons learned from a systematic analysis of these examples to develop a guide for groups involved with or intending to develop their own community food forest. This handbook effectively documents the state-of-the-art of this emerging practice. . . .
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