Food Forests Are Bringing Shade And Sustenance To US Cities
More than half of all people on Earth live in cities, and that share could reach 70% by 2050. But except for public parks, there aren’t many models for nature conservation that focus on caring for nature in urban areas. One new idea that’s gaining attention is the concept of food forests – essentially, edible parks. These projects, often sited on vacant lots, grow large and small trees, vines, shrubs and plants that produce fruits, nuts and other edible products. Unlike community gardens or urban farms, food forests are designed to mimic ecosystems found in nature, with many vertical layers. They shade and cool the land, protecting soil from erosion and providing habitat for insects, animals, birds and bees.