Partnership with Boston Food Forest Coalition
There is a forest of food in Boston and it is growing at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center (BNC), thanks to a partnership with the Boston Food Forest Coalition (BFFC).
BFFC is an organization of committed neighbors across Boston that envision a robust network of neighborhood-based, publicly accessible edible food forest gardens and orchards located throughout Boston. Their mission is to revive and conserve Boston’s established legacy orchards, as well as create new edible food forest sites.
BNC is home to the first flagship food forest demonstration site, which was established in April 2014. The site reflects the cultural preferences of the surrounding community, offers access to healthy food for those who need it most, and serves as an educational model. The goal, with the help of more than 200 volunteers, is to raise one ton of food for distribution in the community in a given year.
The group’s growing methods focus on permaculture as this best practice method uses less water, labor, fertilizer, and energy than typical gardening; emphasizes perennial plantings inter-planted with popular annual food crops; and builds diverse habitats and healthy soil.
As part of the partnership, BFFC revived the BNC urban orchard and significantly enhanced the landscape by planting trees, growing bee-friendly plants, and enriching the health of the soil.
All of these landscape enhancements provide significant volunteer and educational opportunities for both the BFFC and BNC communities.