We have an exciting opportunity for you: how would you like a food forest installed, for free?
Our partner organization, Food Forest Abundance LLC, is applying for a USDA grant that will provide 100M USD to install food forests on public or private land for free.
We know we have a great chance at landing this food forest grant opportunity which will benefit so many people. But to be eligible for the amount of funding that is available, we need to show that enough land is available for the project.
And, the deadline is extremely short. We have only until April 18th to show that there are enough landowners interested in receiving a food forest for free!
About the Food Forest Grant
The grant is a USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities grant for $100M USD to install food forests (perennial edible gardens) on public or private land for free. When approved, the food forest grant will fund edible garden design, all materials, and installation for approved applicants. It can also cover related infrastructure such as greenhouses and even solar! There is no requirement for matching funds – everything will be covered.
Who Can Apply?
- Organizations such as schools, houses of worship, municipalities, charitable organizations, private clubs, etc. who own or manage land where a food forest could be planted to benefit the community.
- Individuals who would like to offer private land for this use. (The landowner will retain ownership and keep a percentage of the food grown and/or keep profits from a portion of the food being sold.)
- Location can be anywhere in the United States. Plot size should be 3/4 – 4 acres.
Should I Apply for the Food Forest Grant If…?
We understand that the decision to install a food forest isn’t something to make lightly. Many organizations have committees that have to give their approval for large projects such as this – which can often take months.
Even if you don’t know for sure if a free food forest is right for you, we encourage you to apply. This food forest grant application is in no way intended to be a hard “yes!” to a food forest installation. Your application is simply to express interest and open the door for a free food forest installation down the line.
So apply now and take as much time as you need to reach your final decision. Applying before April 18th will give your application seniority in the likely event that this grant proposal goes through.
Benefits of a Food Forest
There are so many benefits – to you and your community – to having a food forest space! Below, we’ve listed some of the main benefits for various organizations and people.
Food forest gardens are a great way to create a “garden of Eden” for your church. They provide quiet space that can be used for prayer and spiritual reflection. Forest gardens are also an excellent way to support your community and potentially even draw in new church members.
Beyond being a beautiful place on campus, food forest gardens create a unique educational opportunity. Students can learn about biology, food production, and more within the food forest space. The food it produces can be utilized to feed students during lunch or can be sent home with low-income students.
Additionally, green spaces have been shown to decrease stress and depression, and boost mental clarity and focus, resulting in better school performance.
Having a food forest in your community can be an excellent way to beautify abandoned spaces, turning them into highlights of the community. Studies have shown that well-designed park spaces can lower crime rates.
The food produced by the forest garden can help mitigate food shortages and poor nutrition, especially in remote areas and food deserts. The food forest space can also be utilized as a community park and/or educational opportunity to teach community members about gardening and home food production.
A food forest garden can be a huge benefit to a neighborhood or HOA. It will encourage neighbors to come together and get to know each other. Additionally, food forests provide beautification to make your neighborhood a more desirable place to live. And of course, the food produced will help out your community with healthy, clean food.
A food forest is a great asset for local and corporate businesses. The press surrounding the installation will make your business or office the talk of the town! Not to mention, the health benefits of being in green spaces have been shown to increase productivity and job satisfaction. By utilizing a food forest garden as an employee break area, you will create a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.
Additionally, the food products of the food forest garden can be given to employees as perks or donated to local charity organizations, further helping out the local community (and making you look good in the process).
Turning your yard (or a portion of your yard) into a food forest garden can benefit both you and your community in so many ways.
Of course, there’s the food produced. An abundance of delicious, uber-fresh, healthy food untouched by chemical sprays. But food forests can also be stunning landscape designs that encourage you to get outside and enjoy your space. They provide habitat for native songbirds and include flowering plants that attract essential pollinators.
How to Apply
The food forest grant application process is simple. Visit www.foodforestprojects.com to apply (it only takes 2 minutes). Remember, at this phase we just need to have a show of hands of people interested in receiving a food forest on their land. So even if you will still need to gain approval from your organization, we encourage you to submit your information as a show of interest and to establish seniority in the likely case that we receive this grant.
Once your application is received, you’ll get an email invitation for a brief interview to answer any questions you may have and make sure your land is suitable for the food forest grant project.
Remember, the deadline is extremely short. We have only until April 18th, 2022, to show that there are enough landowners interested in receiving a food forest for free!
We would be so grateful if you could please take one minute to let people in our area (or elsewhere in the U.S.) know about this food forest grant.
- Send this article to anyone you know who could benefit.
- Share on your social platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
Thanks so much in advance for your help – this has the potential to help so many people in our community!
Questions about this grant (or food forests in general?) We’re happy to help! Just contact us here and we’ll be in touch.