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Community Food Forests

People walking on a path through a community food forest
Catherine Bukowski

Community Food Forests

April 11, 2018
Catherine Bukowski, Virginia Tech &
Ann Audrey, Linking Edible Arizona Forests (LEAF) Network

Community food forests may be best known as a source of fresh healthy food to local residents, but they also offer expanded social connections, reduced food costs, enhanced physical activity, hands-on outdoor learning experiences for children, and much more. In this webinar, Catherine Bukowski will present research on community food forests across the United States, highlighting factors that contribute to success and suggesting approaches for dealing with challenges that may arise. Ann Audrey will describe best practices and principles for designing community food forests that are well-adapted to local site conditions and micro-climates. She will also share recommendations for reducing fire hazards and risk in community food forests based on lessons learned during recent fires in the southwestern U.S.


View the webinar podcast »

Community Food Forests (PDF)
Catherine Bukowski
Researcher & Consultant
Virginia Tech &

Environmentally Adapted Trees (EAT) for Nebraska and Kansas (PDF)
Ann Audrey
Linking Edible Arizona Forests (LEAF) Network

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Community Food Forests
This site from Catherine Bukowski tracks self-reported community food forest initiatives across the US and features resources related to the design and implementation of community food forests.

The LEAF Network
The LEAF Network website provides copious resources addressing selection, site design, planting, and harvesting of edible trees (trees that produce fruits, nuts, seeds, and pods, including both natives and nonnatives). While this website is oriented toward Arizona, the information is broadly applicable.

US Forest Service Resources

Urban Green Spaces for Food and Foraging
This Urban Forest Connections webinar features a discussion of how urban forests can serve as a local food source and provide opportunities to improve food security, public health, and community resilience for city residents.

Why Plant a Community Food Forest?
Published in the National Agroforestry Center’s Inside Agroforestry, Catherine Bukowski provides an introduction to community food forests in this short article.

National Agroforestry Center
The National Agroforestry Center provides links to agroforestry-related events, research, publications, and tools, such as CanVis, a free image editing program developed specifically for creating natural resource planning simulations.