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What could possibly go wrong?

In Seattle, they’re building a food forest:

Seattle’s vision of an urban food oasis is going forward. A seven-acre plot of land in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; herbs; and more. All will be available for public plucking to anyone who wanders into the city’s first food forest.

This will not end well.

28 Responses to “What could possibly go wrong?”

  1. nk who thinks he is Dennis the Menance Says:

    I don wants me no fruits. I wants me a forkd branch for a slingshot. 😉

  2. John Smith. Says:

    Hobo paradise…

  3. SGB Says:

    Hey look, crack pipes on the ground…….

  4. mikee Says:

    This has the potential to be an experiment in building a microsociety and getting agreement on the rules by which it functions. The only question seems to be which direction that society takes – back to Eden, or to Mad Max.

  5. Weer'd Beard Says:

  6. RWC Says:

    Cool. Now I know where to set up my fresh fruit and veggie stand. Locally grown and affordable!

  7. A Critic Says:

    Even in that locale, what percentage of people eat real food? It’s not as if they are planting Big Mac trees.

  8. RWC Says:


    “I would like to add regarding those who think that the public will ruin this food forest, that can be true, but hopefully it won’t. Usually a mature forest inspires such awe that even hardened criminals have their thinking normalized when they come to understand what the forst is.”

  9. mikee Says:

    The Tragedy of the Commons is defined as overuse of community property. This was the (often false) justification for the Enclosure Movement in the 1800’s in England. Commons were used successfully for centuries by local peasantry under well understood if often unwritten rules of sustainability and ownership/use rules. The peasantry was able to survive by using the commons as a source of wood or peat for fuel, for grazing animals, for small game, for small garden plots, for building materials, and so on. When the owners of the commons, the local landed gentry/nobility, enclosed them and started large scale agriculture on them for their sole profit, the peasants lost their ability to live without wages or other income and had to leave the countryside for industrial work in cities.

    The Tragedy of the Commons results from the lack of enforcement of long standing, agreed upon rules of sustainability. The false argument that overuse always happens despite such rules was used to benefit one group over everyone else in the 1800s.

    The experiment in Seattle will fail because there are no rules for sustainable use, and anarchy will prevail.

  10. Karl and Adam Says:

    Basically it all comes down to individual and corporate property rights being a necessity for a civil society to function well. When only commonly owned property is available, eventually one group seizes the means of production for their sole benefit and totalitarianism occurs. If I recall correctly this idea has been tested several times here and there.

  11. BobG Says:

    Sounds like a good way to attract bums and raccoons.

  12. Bubblehead Les Says:

    How many of the young Fruit Trees will be cut down for Firewood by the Bums before they even get a Chance to Blossom? Stupid Hippies.

  13. djinnter Says:

    The whole plot will be dead a week after the first tree produces fruit.

  14. bobby Says:

    Damn. If there were video cameras installed, it’d be just like live action Lord of the Flies.

  15. DirtCrashr Says:

    OccupyFoodForest! It will end in rape and murder, as always.

  16. JKB Says:

    I predict the homeless will have fat birds and squirrels to dine on.

  17. Sean Says:

    This is a fine idea, and as a King County resident and tax payer, I feel it’s some of the best use of public land I’ve seen in a while.

    I’d rather the zombie hordes pillage the fruit and nuts in the park before Safeway.

  18. Phenicks Says:

    As someone who lives on a farm and has had experience w/ managing a small orchard, does the city understand the costs. Ignoring the issues of cross pollination/ hybridization, the spraying and trimming costs of fruiting trees and bushes are high in materials and time. Our favorite u-pick orchard just pulled 3-4k trees because they have been loosing money for the last decade. Two seasons of row crop on that land will recover their loses he said.

  19. John Smith. Says:

    Sounds like a great place to smoke pot.. Get the munchies and food is all around.. That makes me wonder how long it will take before someone grows weed in their little paradise..

  20. Dustydog Says:

    Y’all are naive. The 7-acre garden will be open to anybody with proper ID. As soon as the money is appropriated, they will putting up a big fence with a strong gate, and paying guards to keep regular folk out.

    Children of VIPs will have a great learning experience, and a few reporters will be honored with permission to enter.

    Liberal politicans seem to like to waste money. Really, wasting public funds is the easiest way to steal money. If they can steal stuff without the waste, they are quite reasonable and clever about minimizing the waste. In this case, the liberals are going to spend money on a nice park, and then steal it.

  21. Sigivald Says:

    Apart from the commons problem, there’s the problem of Pineapples and Guavas in Seattle.

    The climate’s all wrong for tropical fruits there; you’d think that even the hippie foodie dimwits pushing this would be able to read a zone chart or check the range of the plants in question.

    (This idea and watching people react to it online, especially via Facebook, has been instructive on how little critical thinking or analysis most people do.

    They see the proposal, think “oh wow cool that will be so awesome!” and stop right there.

    I have the suspicion that when it inevitably fails they’ll be shocked.)

  22. kbiel Says:

    7 acres? IANAF, but that seems rather small, especially if you are planting bushes and trees. Would 7 acres planted in a mixture of trees, bushes, and crops even be enough to sustain a family of 4?

  23. Amiable Dorsai Says:

    Sigivald took the words out of my keyboard.

    Pineapples. Seattle.

    That pretty much tells me how much serious thought went into this

  24. Timmeehh Says:

    We have palm trees up here in Canada, so why not pineapple in Seattle? This is the west coast y’know.

  25. Critter Says:

    i think it’s a wonderful idea, here’s why:

    some years ago the local hippies bought some unused housing land in the bad part of town to create an “Urban Garden” to feed all of the disadvantaged healthy foods, like green beans, peppers, corn, squash, etc. my local gun store was near by and a stop-and-rob was across the street. the locals wold indeed go into the garden to pick all the delicious produce they could and would then go to the gun store to sell it to the staff and customers for the price of beer and smokes at the stop-and-rob. my compatriots and i got wonderful veggies, the locals got booze and tobacco products and the hippies got a warm fuzzy. #WINNING!

  26. BartonLong Says:

    I live in Oregon and based on all the fruit trees that go unpicked around here (Seattle is the same) not much is going to happen except for a big increase in squirrels, possums and raccoons. The homeless don’t want veggies, they want drugs, fast food and booze. Most of the summer I can walk around my neighborhood and pick enough fruit for a week in about 20 minutes and not even make a dent. Most of it falls to the ground and rots. And yeah, 7 acres of trees will produce a LOT of food. Enough fruit and nuts for 20 or 30 families easy if it doesn’t get tended once the trees are established. This is the ideal climate for pit fruit and most nuts, not so much for pineapples and citrus. Most veggies will grow really good here also. Before grass seed the Willamette vallley produced most of the green beans eaten in the US.

  27. Chris Says:

    Ah yes, “MY, The City”. Have we already forgotten the public toilet fiasco?

  28. Jeff from DC Says:

    Urban food forests are a mecca for homosexual activity