Atlanta creates the largest free food forest in America

Free food forests could potentially solve a massive food insecurity issue in Canada as well, where 1 in 8 households live with food insecurity.
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Located in the city of Atlanta is the largest free food forest at 7.1 acres, thanks to a partnership between the Conservation Fund and Trees Atlanta, along with a grant from the US Forest Service. 

The forest will be filled with 2,500 pesticide-free edible and medicinal plants and will produce fresh healthy nuts, fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Urban Food Forest- Atlanta’s free food forest

According to Aglanta, the Conservation Fund acquired the land on Browns Mill Road in southeast Atlanta in 2016. The forest is located in the area that is called food desert. The project is part of the city of Atlanta’s plan to bring healthy food within a half mile of 85% of Atlanta’s residents by 2022. 

PHOTO: Courtesy of Urban Food Forest- Atlanta’s free food forest

There are quite a few countries and cities who have done the same projects. Edmonton, Alberta started an urban food forest in 2014. EatNorth reported that St.Albert Urban Agriculture community group and volunteers came together and successfully planted a food forest for people to enjoy. 

These edible forests are a great way to inspire communities to get out in nature and learn about gardening, eco living and even feed people for free. Food forests have previously popped up across Canada. CBC reported about edible forests in BC, North West Territories and Sudbury.  

In 2014, Toronto was considering a first of its kind food forest however the project has since remained silent. The Star reported on the possibility of Ontario Place having space for the project. 

Food forests eventually become self-sustainable. They continue to grow and provide.

Food insecurity is a widespread issue in Canada – PROOF estimates that 1 in 8 households live with food insecurity, which is around 4.4 million people. Free food forests can help in minimizing the problem. 

PHOTO: Courtesy of @rethinkrd/Instagram

Rethink Red Deer and other partner organizations have been working on transforming a 15,000 square foot land into an edible forest. This was part of the Canada 150 Edible Garden project in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. 

Let’s hope Toronto unveils its plans for edible forests across the city in the near future. 



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