The seven-acre Beacon Food Forest, as the project is called, has the potential to be one of the largest public gardens on public land, according to Glenn Herlihy, Beacon Food Forest co-founder.
The Food Forest will be planted with hundreds of kinds of different edibles, selected by members of the community around the land. Blueberry and raspberry bushes, apple and pear trees, nut trees like chestnut and walnut as well as a variety of other treats like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries will all grow freely in the forest, available for the picking by anyone who wanders through.
"When we met with all the different people from the community, what they wanted actually was fruits and berries and big nut trees, that was their biggest request," said Food Forest permaculture expert Jenny Pell, who spoke to the Living on Earth blog. "So, we're looking at paths with berry bushes on both sides, and we're going to have mixed fruit orchards, and big nut orchards."
The project is not only Seattle's first large-scale permaculture project, but is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, according to environmental website Take Part. Permaculture is an ecological philosophy that promotes perennial and self-sustaining growth.