Their mission:

'Our goal is to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden [1st phase: a 1.75-acre test zone] that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.'

- Beacon Food Forest:   http://beaconfoodforest.weebly.com/index.html

~Anyone want to share permaculture ideas for urban renewal in Christchurch? 

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It is roughly what we are doing here, when we came up with the idea, it didn't have a fancy name, it just seemed like a good way to go about things. It still involves a lot of work to maintain and in our case until the plants are big enough to compete with the grass, a lot of mowing

This would be awesome in Christchurch.  With all the red zones which will not be rebuild, we should have the possibility to start something. But we will need to be several people to start such a poject.

Bob Parker has been to the Beacon Food Forest and 'loves the food forest idea':

Damaged land could feed city 

Christchurch Mail  24th Jan 2013  by Abbie Napier

Mayor Bob Parker has given his support for a sustainability initiative which could see a food forest incorporated into the proposed Avon River Corridor.

On a recent trip to Christchurch’s sister city Seattle, the Mayor was treated to a tour of the Beacon Food Forest project.

A food forest is a carefully constructed ecosystem which substitutes edible plants, shrubs, trees and groundcover in place of conventional forest plants.

The system is layered, with tall fruit and nut trees, shrubs of berries, climbing edible vines, and strawberry groundcover ( for example).

Anyone can help themselves to edible harvests, and anyone can contribute to the forest maintenance as it is meant for public use.

The idea fits eco-advocate Kevin McCloud’s dream of seeing Christchurch become a productive and green city.

The Beacon Food Forest in Seattle is a 7-acre development on public land. Run by the community for the community, the forest is still in its early stages.

When complete, it will provide free fruit, vegetables and nuts to anyone who wants to harvest it.

Mayor Bob Parker said the forest was a ‘‘brilliant programme’’.

‘‘I love the food forest idea,’’ he said. ‘‘ Veges and fruit tend to come in plastic wrap from a supermarket these days.’’

He hoped the forest could be incorporated into the proposed Avon River Corridor – land soon to be owned by the Government.

The forest would fit seamlessly into the existing proposal which called for cycle and canoe ways, activity areas, and wetland reserve.

‘‘ I think this is what Christchurch is naturally moving towards. The Government is making the call on this land, but if they consult on this, I would be more than happy to raise this [food forest] as an idea for that land.’’

Existing backyard fruit trees and veges gardens could be included in a forest development.

‘‘ That’s part of the red zone story, the legacy of the people who owned that land before the earthquakes,’’ he said.

Concerns had been raised in Seattle about people taking more than their fair share, but the nature of the programme is that anyone can take what they need. If all the food is gone, the project has been successful.

‘‘This is a 21st century idea on a grand scale.’’

This is amazing. How can we do this? Where do we start? Are there enough people here to make this happen?

It would be very good to have some public food forests in Christchurch. 

Recently there has been talk of some things possibly going ahead in parts of Christchurch, some of it in "public" land (which seems to need "permission" for us to use it). 

May be best to do things (or at least start) in our own back yards, literally, instead of begging for (possibly only temporary) use of "public" land.   But someone may know of a good solution - what ideas do people have? 

There is some private land that's owned by organisations or trusts that have already had or are currently having food forests established. 

Keep growing in our own back yards, at least! :)

Hey Lesley, there's a small group of food forest enthusiasts working on creating public food forests in Christchurch. We have a facebook page and meet up monthly, email cffc.abundance@gmail.com if you'd like to know more :-)

I also agree with Steven that it is great to start in our own backyards and experiment!

Kia ora folks,

There's a large council owned orchard on Marshland Road full of established fruit trees that is looking to become a community orchard and will potentially include a food forest!

There's a public meeting for anyone interested in getting involved next week on Wednesday: July 23, 7.30pm at St Albans Community Centre -1047 Colombo St.  Please come along and show your support for this!

For more info see the recent Press article City food forest is growing closer

I have seen the location for this and its heaving with neglected fruit bearing trees..... Most of the work is already done for us! hehe will hopefully see you there!

Kia ora ano,

The Marshlands orchard meeting went well with around 60 enthusiastic people there :-)

There was a general consensus to rejuvenate and take care of the preexisting orchard (apple, pear, plum, peach) which will hopefully increase the Summer harvest.

There's also the potential for a food forest and heritage fruit tree archive at the site.

There's an inventory/orientation happening this weekend for folks to check out the site, and to figure out what fruit trees are where and how many etc. There will also be some apple pruning and sharing of ideas for the site - so bring along your secateurs and ideas if you have them and gumboots too as the site is quite wet in places.

Sat 26th: 12-3pm (approx)

Sun 27th:12-3pm (approx)
(old) Sunlea Orchard,
581 Marshland Rd

Contact: David 021 046 2011

Message me if you'd like the minutes from the meeting.

Hope to see you there!

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