Beacon Food Forest offers foraging, free garden produce during harvest

Karla and Kaylah Garcia, 9, are handed veggies by Olive Astra Utter, 4, at a free roadside stand on 15th Avenue South at the Beacon Food Forest. The community garden, built on land owned by Seattle Public Utilities, is being harvested, and on Wednesday evenings the bounty is offered free to the community at a roadside stand. Photographed on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, Beacon Food Forest is a labor of love. Volunteers have carved the public garden from two acres of Seattle Public Utilities-owned property adjacent to Jefferson Park, with plans in the future to add more tilled property for a total of 7 acres.

Now that much of the fruit and veggies are ready for harvest, visitors can be found regularly foraging among greenery, grazing and sampling. And through October 8th, people looking for tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, acorn squash, Swiss chard and other produce, can stop by a free roadside stand staffed by garden volunteers along 15th Avenue South. Volunteers will be there from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The Beacon Food Forest is a community-driven project to grow an edible urban forest garden on public land. Volunteer Michael Muehlbauer helped design the space, with its rows of plants arranged to look like a two-dimensional DNA helix from overhead. “The symbol represents our diverse ecosystem, the diverse neighborhood where the garden is located and visitors shared ancestry with the plants and animals,” he said recently while staffing the roadside stand.

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