“Food desert” has become a well-known term for an urban area where people do not have access to fresh food. But now, community “food forests” are popping up around cities and towns across the U.S., including one on Glencoe Avenue in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice. The opposite of a food desert, food forests are providing people with healthy, fresh food. The term “ forest ” here doesn’t refer to spread out trees but to a vertically integrated ecosystem with plants of various heights and root layers. In this case, the forest produces edible products. If you want to get really technical, think seven layers: the tallest overstory tree layer; the shorter understory tree layer; shrub layer; herbaceous layer; root layer; ground cover layer; and vine layer. So where do you plant a food forest? This is the beauty of the movement. People can rip out their fairly useless lawns and plant a multi-layered edible forest. Then, neighbors can trade avocados for potatoes and lemons for alfalfa sprouts. It’s a way to get the freshest food possible, avoid pesticides, get healthier and form stronger community bonds by working toward a common goal. In Venice, many streets along Glencoe […]


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