Friday May 03, 2024

How to design and build a community food forest, with Jessica Robertson

With the growth in popularity around permaculture and food forests, even people without access to their own land are looking into opportunities to come together and create beautiful edible landscapes that everyone can access on public land. Enter community orchards or food forests. These are increasingly being grown on abandoned lots, local parks, or forgotten strips of land that caring neighbors take interest in and decide to grow perennial food and medicine crops on. Yet as the number of people involved grows, and the need to conform to regulations and permit processes, many people can get lost in the complexities during the attempt. 

To help me better understand these challenges and opportunities, I reached out to Jessica Robertson in Canada who has helped design and install a number of community food forests and helped to illuminate the process from her experience. 

Jessica is the Owner, Designer, and Head Grunt at Wild Craft Permaculture and a Lead Designer at United Designers International. Jessica has designed holistic permaculture systems for spaces from 200 sq. ft. to 200-acres and works on residential, commercial, and public projects. She is often involved in the implementation of these designs and loves sharing her knowledge with clients as they work alongside each other. She brings a background in biology, education, silviculture and urban planning to her work.

In this episode, Jessica shares insights from decades of experience in the permaculture world, showing how people from all walks of life can reconnect with the earth in deeper and more active ways. We'll also work carefully through the process of designing, setting up, and keeping up with community food forests, including things people often forget about and realistic expectations for maintenance. And to top it off, we'll give you some easy steps to create your own successful community food forest right in your own neighborhood.

Oliver M Goshey 2023

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