Event Details

Food Forest Candidate Tour

Published on Thursday, September 05, 2013

Food Forest Candidate Tour

Wednesday, September 4th

Event date: 9/4/2013 6:30 AM - 12:30 AM Export event

On Wednesday, September 4th, people who have been interested in Food forests within the Spokane area meet for a 4 hour tour of the following parks to see if they would be good candidates. 

Attended by:  Phiil Small, Ed Bryant, Garth Davis, Kate Burke, Cindy Deffe', Ben Peterson, Tim Kohlhauff, Marilyn Lloyd,  Michael Hagar, Cara Hagar, ........ (Who have I missed?).

Candidate Parks... Froggy Pond, Grant Park, Polly Judd Park, Peaceful Valley and Arboritum.

 

The following Overviews were drawn from the excellent notes provided by Tim Kohlhauff, Urban Horticulture Coordinator.

 

Froggy Pond,

Overview:

This site is part of the Hazel Creek drainage and is city (but not Park dept.) owned.  It is a wetland area, but dry when we visited.  Established plants did not appear to be suffering from unusual drought stress.  The site offers excellent sun exposure, and currently has mature apples, crabapples, pears, and highbush cranberries.  There are several neighbors who have expressed interest in working with this site, and there is the possibility of CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) {funding or committee participation?} 

Pro:

Con:

Grant Park 

Overview:

This site is Parks dept. land, adjacent to an existing Community Garden.  It is currently in managed turfgrass, and the soil has good water holding capacity.  There is irrigation on site.  The neighborhood is active, however there are few apartment buildings which might be a source of people looking to become involved with this project.  Single family dwellings make up most of the neighborhood, meaning people may already be gardening to the extent that they want to.  Possible partners include the South Perry Business district, the Parks dept. and a neighborhood Farmer’s Market; the Community garden is currently without a leader and may not be able to lend support.  Food Forest plan would probably be to start at the thicket stage of development, but with well-defined paths.

Pro:

Con:

 

Polly Judd

Overview:

The proposed area is on the west side of the bluff in an area planned for storm water run-off.  {The area was planned as a large scale run off containment.}  The soil is mostly fill from other areas, and is a mix of native sandy soil and loam.  The area currently supports Aspen and willow species, so there should be sufficient ground water for plants to access.  There is also irrigation in the park, which could be adapted for use.  There is a very steep slope above the proposed area that may require some sort of path development for access and safety.  A Food Forest area could be easily delineated/defined.  The neighborhood is active and already has some ‘guerilla gardens’ in place, as well as a nearby Community garden, which indicates a level of interest in this type of activity.  The park is also a site for community gatherings, which would bring people to the area.  Possible partners include Friends of the Bluff, current community gardeners, the Parks dept. and the CDBG steering committee.

ro:

Con:

Peaceful Valley

Overview:

This site is right along the Spokane river, on somewhat compacted soil.  The area may occasionally flood, but is high enough, and protected enough by vegetation along the river bank that any flooding would probably be of the slackwater type, rather than erosive or destructive.  There is already irrigation in the area for an existing Community garden, and juvenile Ponderosa pines.  Current vegetation includes Black locusts, alfalfa, and wolfberry.  This site would perhaps be the easiest place to engage neighbors, but it is less inviting than some other sites.  It is regularly used by homeless people who would potentially benefit from a food forest site.  The proposed plan would not be of the thicket-type plantings due to security concerns.  (These concerns are evidenced by the aggressive limbing up of the Ponderosa pines in the area.)  Potential partners would be the Parks dept. and neighbors of the park.

Pro:

Con:


Arboretum

Overview:

This site is Parks dept. property and is currently managed turfgrass mixed with trees and some native areas.  The proposed site would be just north of the freeway and in an area with already mature nut-bearing trees, including Butternut, Carpathian walnut, Black walnut and Bur oak.  This disadvantage of this site would be the remote location from the Woodland Center and parking area, as the driveway to Corey Glen is closed by 3pm.  There would likely be no neighborhood involvement here; maintenance would likely fall to {us} and to some extent the arboretum staff.  In addition, the noise from I-90 is highly distracting.  An advantage of this site is that we could include the demonstration forest on the existing Finch maps; the arboretum is regularly used as an educational stop by numerous school and community groups.  Another possible site in the arboretum, perhaps less remote, is the area around the crabapple collection. 

Pro:

Con:


CONCLUSION:

At the conclusion of the tour, the group agreed that all the sites had something to offer, but the consensus was that the Polly Judd, and Riverwalk park sites offered the greatest chance of successful community engagement.



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1 comments on article "Food Forest Candidate Tour"

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AshleyH

2/17/2014 1:42 AM

This is very exciting to see, people of Spokane! We're offering a weekend workshop about how to create productive food forest ecosystems in April. Many concepts will be covered in-depth and there will be plenty of time and space to ask questions, converse, and experience hands-on work! Join us at our intentional community for an enriching time. For more information, visit http://www.windward.org/2.0/events/permaculture_5april2014.php http://www.windward.org/2.0/events/images/permacultureposter-april2014.jpg

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