Working in low-income neighborhoods often characterized as food deserts, the Philadelphia Orchard Project plants orchards filled with a variety of edible plants in vacant lots, community gardens, and school parks.
They work in conjunction with organizations in the community to design and implement the orchards, and train residents to care for the plants, offering accessible and affordable options for fresh produce where there often are none.
12) Sadhana Forest
Sadhana Forest is a nonprofit operating in Haiti, India, and Kenya. Their projects involve the reforestation of severely eroded landscapes with food-bearing trees, building local food security while simultaneously remediating valuable land.
Founded in 2003, Sadhana Forest has already planted hundreds of thousands of food-producing trees, with many more to come.
13) Sustainable Landscaping Initiative Vancouver
Sustainable Landscaping Initiative Vancouver is a nonprofit based in Vancouver, Canada. Their mandate is to drive an industry-wide greening in the world of landscaping. This would include a shift towards native plants, edible gardens, eliminating toxic chemicals, increasing water efficiencies, zero-emissions machinery, and whole systems design inspired by local ecosystems.
They provide a variety of resources to assist landscaping organizations with a green transition and become eligible for several eco-landscaping accreditation programs.
14) Trees That Feed Foundation
Created by Mike and Mary Mclaughlin and Paul Virtue in 2008, the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) promotes the integration of tree crops into the landscapes of developing countries.
The benefits of food-producing trees are many and include reducing community dependence on fertilizer, water, and other inputs for food crops, while also sequestering carbon and strengthening local ecosystems.
TTFF successfully runs projects in 11 countries throughout the Caribbean and Africa. Their programs include supplying local organizations with trees and providing training in tree care to ensure the long-term sustainability and benefits of their projects.
Wayward is a landscape, art, and architecture firm from London, England. Many of their projects take a creative approach to implemented food growing into underutilized urban landscapes.
Often repurposing salvaged plants and local building materials, their installations offer mind-bending and inspiring takes on incorporating edible spaces into contemporary art and architecture installations.
Instead of only growing grass, shrubs, and flowers, what if more land was used to grow delicious, healthy, gorgeous foods — like rainbow chard, artichokes, and blueberries?
Edible landscaping mixes both beauty and utility, using food plants as part of a decorative landscape. Almost all climates can accommodate at least some edible plants, and even small spaces have room for a few fruits and vegetables.
By growing more of your own food, you can save money (on food and lawn maintenance), ensure the safety of foods you eat, enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature, and help protect the environment.
If you want to create your own edible landscape, you may want to look at the organizations in this article for inspiration and ideas. And some of these organizations may be able to help you, particularly if they are in your area.
Here are some tips to help you get started growing your own food.
Another great resource is the book Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy, who has been growing edibles in her northern California garden for more than 40 years.