How much room would the community food forest take up?
The first stage involves planting 13 fruit and nut trees east of the playground. A second proposed stage is envisaged but will be added later and will still be confined to the east of the playground. The plantings will be aesthetically pleasing and there will still be room for walking, ball games and other uses of the park. The food forest will not disturb the existing playground, and in fact provides another interesting opportunity for children’s play and learning. The trees planted as part of the food forest will eventually provide extra sun protection in the summer (as well as tasty and healthy snacks!), which will benefit families using the park.
How would the food forest be maintained?
The FFAG will organize regular working days to prune trees, shrubs and undertake any other maintenance required. The community will be welcome to join in these activities. Working bees and Management meetings are currently advertised by private email and updates are also posted on this blog. If you would like to receive information by email please refer to the Contact Us page.
What if plants are damaged or stolen?
The damage or theft of plants may happen in a small number of cases and would be replaced. Experience at other similar projects indicates that this only tends to happen in the beginning. When the food forest is established, we hope people in the surrounding community will enjoy it more, value it and treat it with respect.
What if someone takes more than their fair share?
People will be encouraged to harvest what they need, leave some for others and to put energy back into the food forest (by helping to look after it). Once established there would be an abundance of herbs that would benefit from regular harvesting. This project is about building trust, a culture of sharing and community spirit. The food forest is a great chance to share and if isn’t enough we may need to plant more not less.
Winton Road Reserve sometimes gets flooded, is this a bad site for the food forest?
The food forest is mostly located above the flood level. Trees are carefully selected and positioned according to their drainage tolerance. Plants such as hazelnut love being flooded for days and even weeks, and they are to be planted in the lower and wetter part of the food forest. Plants that do not tolerate water logging will be grown in the higher areas.
Is there enough parking around the proposed sites?
Parking at the food forest will be discouraged except for pick up and drop offs. In the design process we would work with council to develop an appropriate strategy around parking.
Will the food forest unduly increase road traffic?
People coming to the food forest will be encouraged to walk, ride or use public transport. The proposed sites have been chosen partly because they are very local and accessible without use of a car.
What about possums eating the food grown?
If necessary, some trees can be protected using metal collars. Some trees may be left so that Possums do have something to eat – brushtails often reject wholesome native plants. Having a food source for the possums could help gardeners in the surrounding area by decreasing the pressure on their private food gardens and flowers. And if we should run out of food, we might need to plant more.