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Why cities are planting more ‘food forests’

County Sustainability Group

Many of us see forests as places to walk, hike and enjoy nature. But more and more cities are planting “food forests” — not just for strolling through, but for growing fruits and veggies.

At the Cowichan Green Community Food Forest in Duncan, B.C., visitors can amble along green microclover pathways in the shade of big-leaf maple trees to pick herbs such as rosemary and savory, vegetables like asparagus, as well as fruits, including salmonberries, grapes, plums, kiwis and figs — for free.

“It’s quite the jungle right now,” said Janice MacKirdy, who runs the garden for the non-profit Cowichan Green Community Society, an environmental group focused on food security.

The roughly one-acre plot attracts families, who fill their baskets during berry season, and is a refuge and quiet thoroughfare for workers in the city centre. The community group also uses the harvest in its Meals on Wheels program for…

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