2,500 plants, 28,000 m and 1,000 volunteers: America’s largest free food forest has opened

2 500 plantes, 28 000m² et 1 000 bénévoles: la plus grande forêt alimentaire gratuite des Etats-Unis est ouverte

In the southern suburbs of Atlanta, a striking beacon farm is nicely closed. Although the construction of the townhouse was quickly announced, the land remained untouched and was eventually purchased by the Defense Fund in 2016. The fund had a plan to develop this barren land: to establish the largest free food forest in the United States.

It is now a concrete project in the Browns Mill District. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Forest Service and a partnership between the City of Atlanta, Conservation Fund and Trees Atlanta today grows 2,500 edible and medicinal plants approximately 28,730 m, ten minutes apart. In the world before the epidemic).

The forest usually takes 30 minutes by bus to reach the nearest grocery store. “Access to green spaces and healthy food is very important and it is part of our mission.”, Michael McCartney, an arborist and culinary expert who helps maintain the forest, told CNN.

This edible forest is part of a larger city plan that aims to produce healthy food within 800 meters of the homes of 85% of the city’s 500,000 residents by 2022. However, as of 2014, food cultivation on urban land is still illegal, CNN notes.

The resources proposed by this project are in great demand in Georgia (Southeastern America): one in six Georgians is food insecure and one in three Browns Mill residents live below the poverty line. “We welcome a lot of students on excursions. For many of them it is the first time they have been to a garden, farm or forest. Here they get to experience all of the urban farming and forestry. The day. It’s very special.”, Michael McCart is delighted.

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More than 1,000 volunteers and neighbors help plant, water and maintain the forest. In a single day, more than 50 volunteers can now work on a site officially owned by the Department of Parks. Carla Smith, Atlanta City Councilor, emphasizes nature’s ability to create communities: “It really is a park for everyone. Every time I go a community respects and enjoys fresh, healthy food. People are in the mood to take only what they need. ”

Efforts aimed at making urban cities more edible have been a great success. There are at least 70 free food forests in the country, and in the free food forests of Seattle, Portland and Asheville, American media report that thousands of pounds of food are harvested each year.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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