One morning several years back, Thais Thiesen and Mario Yanez, who had been designing foodscapes for public spaces together for some time read an article that said “fruit trees illegal in public spaces in the City of Miami…”
The article cited various reasons such as, what if someone fell out of a tree while picking fruit, etc. As permaculture designers, Thais and Mario didn’t freak out because they knew that the problem, is always, the solution.
By this point, Mario had been attending Partners in Community Forestry (urban forestry) conferences at the insistence of his good friend Robert Ruano. Here Mario was planting seeds in the minds of everyone he spoke to by asking “Why not food?”
Something clicked! By third year, the term food forests appeared in the USDA/US Forest Service’s National Urban and Community Forestry grant, which Inhabit Earth applied to and was successfully awarded. One of four awards nationally… the other three universities…WOW!
The truth is there are legitimate reasons why people avoid planting food in public spaces and it was our intention to address all of them with this project. So, we assembled a team and began designing the solution to creating foodscapes that no one had to be afraid of, so incredibly easy and acceptable… FoodPlaces is what came out the other end.