Ranchlands Edible Forest
The Ranchlands Edible Forest is a project we broke ground on in September 2022.
In an unused green space next to our association building, our community has planted 17 fruit trees of 4 different types (6 apple, 6 cherry, 3 pear and 2 plum) to create a legacy project that will benefit our neighborhood. Fruit produced on the trees is free for anyone to come harvest, while we also will be encouraging local pollinator populations.
The project was spawned from a desire to expand our community food pantry program to include fresh produce, while ensuring it was both a long term resource and something accessible to residents without any stigma or shame.
Our goal is to add a number of fruit bushes to the area, as well as raised beds for perennial vegetables and herbs. We also intend to add concrete benches, so residents can enjoy the location at their leisure.
Who Will it Benefit?
Low income families will be the primary beneficiaries of this project, as our main goal with the Ranchlands Edible Forest is to offer an option if free fresh produce.
However seniors have already expressed interest in our expansion plans to add benches, as it would turn the Edible Forest into a comfortable gathering place for them to visit with friends.
We also believe youth will benefited as we have plans underway to have the elementary school that is located next door to the hall come tour the forest to learn about where food comes from, pollinators and plant growth cycles.
Finally, we will be working with local knowledge keepers and indigenous elders for input on traditional flora that would benefit indigenous residents of the community for sacred, cultural or traditional culinary uses.