The past weekend I spent my Saturday volunteering at the Beacon Food Forest! They refer to themselves as the BFF, which I thought was sweet 🙂
The Beacon Food Forest is an entirely community-driven park in the Beacon Hill area of Seattle and its goal is to create an edible urban forest garden where locals can come harvest crops, take classes on how to start their own gardens, and volunteer in many different ways to give back to the community.
Apparently they have committees that meet fairly regularly to determine what type of work needs to be done to maintain the forest and also decide which crops to plant, but I think the coolest part about the food forest is that it’s entirely driven by the community. Even the money to fund the forest comes from the neighborhood’s budget for community improvements, and most of the work that’s done is done by community members or volunteers who are just interested in helping out : D
I was there volunteering with my Seattle Teamworks group, a group that volunteers at a different location once a month for 4 months (more information about Seattle Teamworks here!), but apparently BFF hosts a volunteer party every 3rd Saturday of the month where anyone’s welcome to help out with the forest 🙂
I could really tell that they had done this multiple times before because the day went really smoothly and they had a lot of different kinds of projects that volunteers could choose from, such as creating mounds for the new round of crops, making compost piles (the first ones for the year!), weeding and pruning, and building new walls for an expansion of the food forest.
Around noon, the core volunteer committee serves a vegan homemade lunch (that was super yummy!!!) and everyone takes a break to just socialize and talk to other volunteers :D. There’s also coffee and tea that volunteers can drink throughout the day too if they ever need a break or just want to hang around the water cooler for a bit haha.
I worked on creating some new trellises for the DNA Helix part of the food forest (named as such because of the way the irrigation pipes criss cross each other), and there was some leftover bamboo at the end so I took some pieces home to try make something out of it and ended up making a little soap holder 😀
Overall, I think the concept of the BFF is super cool and I love how much emphasis they put on forming a community and also building a sustainable food forest. I could just picture lots of families coming to the garden during the spring and summer seasons to pick some harvests and also school field trips to learn more about where food comes from and how they grow; it’s a great mission. : )