Food Forest Talk: Growing Food on Public Lands

February 3, 2022 - 6:00 am


Food Forest Talk
Thursday February 3rd at 6:00pm
We’re excited to welcome Cherry Liu from the Beacon Hill Food Forest Collective on Thursday February 3rd for a presentation about the Beacon Hill Food Forest (BHFF) and Food Forest Collective for a presentation on the BHFF, how they got started, and how we can get more food growing on public lands here in Thurston County! This event is being hosted by the Food and Agriculture Action Group. (photo courtesy of BHFF).

More about our speaker:

 My name is Cherry Liu and I am the Community Outreach  Coordinator at the Beacon Food Forest. I am a native  Seattlelite and grew up about 5 blocks west of BFF, so I witnessed the before and after stages of its growth. I have also seen the inequities impacting people of color due to  gentrification and a widening socioeconomic gap exacerbated by climate injustice. For these reasons, I started the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) Land Share program to partner with BIPOC-led organizations who were interested in growing food but simply lacked the resources and space. I am hoping to also lay the foundation for a BIPOC Community Garden and Mobile Food Forest to serve other underserved communities beyond Beacon Hill, so there is a lot going on for me this year!

On a personal level, I have leveraged the challenges I have experienced as opportunities for growth and have cultivated my connection with nature through my role as an urban farmer. In 2019, I started making natural body products including handmade soap, body butter, and candles, which I like to sell at craft fairs and on Etsy. In 2020, I started cultivating the weed-infested raised beds at my home and converting my grass lawn into a future food forest. I enjoy any immersion in nature such as hiking and herbal medicine, artistic activities such as singing and photography, and sharing gardening and food forestry with my incredibly diverse and beautiful community.

I’m a creative person and view my connection with nature as the ultimate form of art and expression. My dream is that through building more food forests, people will realize their connection to nature through each other, and we will live in a more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable society. At BFF, I view myself as a nexus through which people of color and other marginalized people become reconnected with nature and am hopeful for a shift towards community-based food systems and economies.

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