Our First Food Forest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today.” ~ Chinese Proverb

We have planted the first food forest at Rooted Northwest! The Snohomish, Whidbey, and Skagit Conservation Districts recently received a grant to explore agroforestry plantings for wet ground in Western Washington, and we volunteered a soggy three acres in the southeast area of the farm as a demonstration site. The primary focus crops are aronia, pawpaw, hazel, and elderberry, with plenty of supporting plants as well, like rhubarb, lovage, and oregano. After a few years, Rooted NW will inherit the system, and keep the conservation districts informed on what is (and isn’t) working.

Planning, procuring plants, and preparing the site was quite the task, but on a rainy day last month, a dozen community members and a crew of Washington Conservation Corps combined forces to get everything in the ground.

What Else Is Happening on the Farm?

The food forest is just one of the enterprises our Agriculture Circle is coordinating. In October, a group of Rooted NW members helped transplant 1,300 blueberry starts for a future organic blueberry operation covering two acres. A couple of weeks later, Steffi & Don broke ground on their medicinal herb farm, which will include elder, roses, hawthorn, willow, and a field of Blue Camas.

It’s so exciting to see a patchwork of farms taking shape on the land!

Holiday Crafts and Cheer: Wreath-Making
One of the delights of community is sharing skills, so it was with great enthusiasm that we gathered to make wreaths with Susan’s guidance, fueled by delicious hot cider and homemade cranberry-orange rolls.

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Photos by Rooted NW members.