Farming and Foraging: Growing Community in Beacon Food Forest

Mobile Workshop

Join us for a mobile workshop exploring Beacon Food Forest, affectionately known as “your BFF.” This grassroots project, conceived by four friends studying food forestry in 2009, transformed a 7-acre plot of grass west of a city park into a diverse ecosystem. The idea became a design that envisioned a diverse ecosystem providing neighbors with fresh, healthy, local food.

Discover how BFF volunteers turned this space into a thriving ecosystem and vibrant community resource, offering fresh produce, beauty, pollinator habitat, healthy soils, climate change mitigation, stormwater filtration, and educational opportunities. The space has become a community where everyone is welcome to be, participate, learn, and teach.

A demonstration site and a learning community located on a Seattle Public Utilities water reservoir site, the food forest reimagines what urban green spaces can offer. Join the BFF team as they lead you on a foraging adventure, pointing out and sampling native and non-native species. Food forest volunteers will provide insight into how indigenous, immigrant, and local populations utilize the produce grown. The primarily volunteer board maintains an area open to the public that aims to educate and feed countless people in the community.

Please note: The BFF is planted on a slope, and there may be muddy or dusty areas. Most of the food forest is not accessible, so those with mobility concerns should evaluate their participation in this tour.


  • Identify how design process, layout, and stewardship can be informed by principles and ethics of food forestry.
  • Recognize the importance of developing community spaces that actively promote inclusivity and its importance to participation and shared learning within the context of the food forest.
  • Identify how the food forest integrates food plants into a self-sustaining, semi-natural ecosystem.
  • Discuss how cities benefit from providing space for foraging and public forests.