Seattle’s vision of an urban food oasis is going forward.
A seven-acre plot of land in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; herbs; and more.
All will be available for public plucking to anyone who wanders into the city’s first food forest.
"This is totally innovative and has never been done before in a public park."
So, no wonder edible forests can give us absolute pleasure! And not a smidge of petroleum in sight, either. Funny, that.
So, having led you up the garden path, I’d like to circle back to political economy one last time, scattering some random thoughts:
1. Pleasure is important. So far as I can tell, our current dispensation don’t produce pleasure nearly as well as it produces, say, high fructose corn syrup, “innovative financial products,” anti-depressants, and debt slavery. But other arrangements can do better!
2. Begone, Thomas Malthus. I don’t accept the idea that we must have a massive human die-off to save the planet. (On bad days, I think that not only does the 1% of the 1% believe this, they’re engineering it.) Looking at edible forests, it seems clear to me that we have barely begun to work on systems that can sustain us all. Wildly optimistic? Perhaps!
3. To euthanize rentiers, abolish rents. In Seattle, Vietnam, and in the Amazon, you aren’t forced to cut some robber baron his 5% from the fruit you pluck from a tree. Isn’t that how life should be?
Teacher Geoff Lawton discovered a 300 year old Food Forest built on 2 acres of land and still functioning well in the same family 28 generations later.