“The way to healthy living is to shift from quantitative economic growth to quality of life, food, water and air.
To shift from craving to contentment, and from greed to gratitude.” Satish Kumar
Food is the foundation of a life well lived. Our physical health, mental health, and the health of our planet are intrinsically linked with food and food systems. In the UK, it is estimated that 8.4 million people are living in food poverty (2022 figures), with 1 in 6 of us using a foodbank at some point in March 2022.
At The Food Forest Project, we believe that this is unacceptable and we’re making it our mission to tackle food poverty in Somerset. We work with local landowners and communities to create community food-growing spaces such as food forests, forest gardens, and community allotments, to ensure that everyone has access to free, fresh, organic produce that doesn’t cost the Earth.
We do things differently to conventional agriculture, which is damaging for people and the planet and will ultimately cause even greater food poverty by destroying the soil in which our food is grown. We are a small, and dedicated group of individuals who are passionate about the power of community-assisted regenerative agroecology.
What this mouthful of words means is, small scale community farming that works in harmony with nature. We centre communities and the planet we live on at the heart of our designs to ensure that we’re empowering communities to feed themselves without causing harm to our home. By using regenerative practices within an organic system, we ensure that our growing spaces will stand the test of time and help to support people and planet.
Our food forests and forest gardens are essentially edible woodlands. The trees and bushes produce fruits and nuts, and we plant herbs and medicinal plants within some of our systems.
All of this is free for the local community to harvest. Imagine walking up the road to a beautiful woodland, and coming home with apples, cherries, plums, hazelnuts, walnuts, and a few bunches of herbs, all without spending a single penny.
That’s what food forests and forest gardens can offer to local communities (as well as being lovely places to spend time). Once we’ve agreed to work with a community, we raise funds for the project, design and plant the first three layers of a food forest and provide education boards so that visitors can learn all about agroecology and regenerative food-growing systems.
In Shepton Mallet, we’ve designed and built a market garden to provide the local foodbank with all manner of organic fruits, veggies, salads, and herbs. It’s run entirely by volunteers from the local community.
Our foodbank market garden allows us to provide nutritious, delicious, waste-free and planet-friendly produce directly to the people who need it most, regenerating the community and the planet in the process.
Each project we take on is different, as we tailor our designs to suit the needs of the communities we’re working with. We take on one project per year.
If you would like us to consider your community for a community food forest or forest garden, please fill out our application form.