Community food forests are rapidly emerging across the United States as part of local movements promoting food literacy and community building. Fueled by the popularity of permaculture and agro-ecology, these food forests are capturing the imagination of people in neighborhoods, towns, and cities as an innovative way to transform public green spaces.
In The Community Food Forest Handbook, Catherine Bukowski and John Munsell outline steps for creating lasting public food forests that positively impact communities. Drawing on systems thinking ans social change theory, they focus on how to work inclusively with people and build on strengths when conceiving of, designing, and implementing an edible gathering place. They dive into the civic aspects of establishing a community food forest including:
The authors provide practical advise gleaned from interviews with leadership teams at more than twenty project sites across the country. Through these examples they showcase the complexities of community food forests, highlighting the human resilience of those who learn and experience what is possible when they collaborate on a shared vision for their community.