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Keywords Permaculture sites
Authors Ethan
Published 2015
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The following is the text of a presentation from the early proposal/planning stage of the Beacon Food Forest, then called "Jefferson Park Food Forest". This can serve as an example for others wishing to do similar projects.

See also: Beacon Food Forest planning

Slide 1[edit | edit source]

Proposal for
Jefferson Park Food Forest

Presented by:

  • Jacqueline Cramer
  • Glenn Herlihy
  • Daniel Johnson
  • Heidi Kramer

on 23 August 2009
at Om Culture in Seattle

Slide 2[edit | edit source]


Jefferson Park Food Forest (JPFF) is a newly proposed local permaculture food forest project taken on by students of a local Permaculture Design Certification Course in 2009.

Mission Statement

To rejuvenate the land and gather community through collaboration, education, and participation. This project will address vital issues of water, food, land use, and community- building with interactive elements which will enable people to learn how to feed themselves, care for the land and the natural elements, and create a place to gather and nurture community. By its success, it will be a model for other community food forest projects.

Vision Statement (outlines what the organization wants to be. It concentrates on the future. It is a source of inspiration. It provides clear decision-making criteria.)

Slide 3[edit | edit source]

Goals (I just made these up -D)

  • Demonstrate the latest cutting edge Food Forest knowledge
  • Immerse the community in the abundance of the Food Forest.
  • Host Design Courses, permaculture interns
  • Provide an urban getaway and retreat
  • Build communities locally and provide a center of activities for local permaculture groups.
  • Permaculture tourist destination
  • Provide a model for other local, national and international food forests
  • Integrate traditional community gardening into Food Foresting and foraging
  • Educate children about permaculture
  • Expand Food Forests into other areas of the Park and City.
  • Demonstrate Green Building, Water catchment and flow, greywater systems, passive heating and cooling
  • Provide beautiful interactive aesthetic elements that will provide recreation, team building and permaculture education.

Slide 4[edit | edit source]

Location & Context

  • Jefferson Park has recently seen significant changes as part of the federally-mandated Beacon Reservoir lid project (one reservoir removed, the other lidded for more open park space) and $8 million in Pro Parks Levy projects allowing for significant redevelopment and remodeling.
  • The proposed JPFF project site is currently well outside of the area of heaviest development for the park. It is located on an undeveloped hillside to the East of 15th AVE South, to the North of South Dakota street, West and down the hill from the Beacon Hill Reservoir in Seattle..
  • Site is sparse in terms of structures, paths, and plant communities. There are hydrology, geology, vectors, bus lines, airplane noise, car traffic on 15th Ave S. Nearby and above are being-developed soccer fields. The slope and traffic patterns of the neighborhood do not funnel foot traffic to the site.

Slide 5[edit | edit source]

Site history

Ownership Site is currently maintained by Seattle Parks & Recreation. The westen strip of the site is owned by Seattle Public Utilities. Most of hill is turf, with no known yields or benefits aside from some erosion control.


  • There is a view to the NW of Downtown Seattle.
  • Avoid view conflicts with upper part of park. There are some height restrictions on any trees installed in the area for view purposes from the East.

Slide 6[edit | edit source]


  • Multi-cultural and a bit of mixed classes: working class and a growing college-educated working class/professional class with an artsy orientation interested in neighborhood projects. Ethnic - Asian first and second generation families; multigenerational households. Latino first and second generation. White - working class, skilled trades, and middle class professionals.
  • The park also draws people from communities a bit further away from the nearby neighborhood. For example the cricket fields that Saturday hosted over over 100 people associated with the Samoan Cricket League, for matches.[1]
  • Recreational opportunities including lawn bowling, golf and new playfields will players from all over the city and region.
  • There is a middle school to the Southeast.

Slide 7[edit | edit source]

Community Building, Citizen's Group interviews

presented by Glenn (Glenn and Jackie have notes)
  • Jefferson Park Alliance
    • Client interview results
  • Seattle Parks & Recreation

Slide 8[edit | edit source]

A future of abundance

  • How the land is being used now vs. what it will become.
(Unused part of Park, Turf desert, rainwater runoff vs Food Forest)
  • High demand for Permaculture projects in Seattle and Community Gardens

Precedent for municipal, county, state, province Food Forest + Permaculture projects

Slide 9[edit | edit source]

Phase Planning

1 - 2 years[edit | edit source]

  • (1) Fundraising + advocacy
  • (2) earthworks
  • (3) Food Forest Tree guilds + Zone 5 planting
  • (4) Paths
  • (5) Pond installation
  • (6) Nursery
  • (7) Planning for community garden; it should come very early - definitely by the 3-5 yr plan

3 - 5 years[edit | edit source]

  • (8) Harvest House
  • (9) Pumps
  • (10) Children's area
  • (11) Bed & Breakfast / Green House

6 - 10 years[edit | edit source]

  • Look at expanding into other unused areas of Park
  • Establish mentoring program for other Food Forests in PNW

10 - 25 years[edit | edit source]

  • Designer, recliner. Design integrated Permaculture retirement communities into Food Forests all over the world

Slide 10[edit | edit source]

Master Plan (Names, date, north indicator, location) Design elements

Presentation of large watercolor maps + overlays

Slide 11[edit | edit source]

Zone and Sector Analysis

presented by Jacqueline

Flow Patterns

  • Sound blocking

Structures, Roads, Paths Existing or Introduced Vegetation

Slide 12[edit | edit source]

Harvest House

  • Organic, mushroom design
  • Community Kitchen
  • Cobb oven
  • Solar oven
  • Outdoor community gathering space
  • Stage celebrations and work parties
  • Green roof water collection
  • Tool storage

Slide 13[edit | edit source]

Redesign of Topography: Maximizing for water flows, greywater + catchment (Reduce, reuse, recycle)

Slide 14[edit | edit source]


  • Existing contours + grade: The stepped grade increases coming up from 15th Ave S, then increases again at 16th Ave South (closed-off Seattle City Light access rode) and then dramatically increases (as in climb on all fours) above another access rode just below the plateau to the East. Site would probably lend itself well to terracing.

Slide 15[edit | edit source]

Site challenges + opportunities

Slide 16[edit | edit source]

Redesign for water flow & catchment

  • Keyline redesign
  • Keypoints
  • Swales
  • Trails
  • Vehicle access
  • Bicycle station

Slide 17[edit | edit source]

Water Supply + Catchment

  • Roofs of Harvest House, Nursery, Hillside?
  • Ponds

Slide 18[edit | edit source]


  • Maximize natural water flows and recycle water as much as possible
  • Use of old pump building
  • Powered by renewable energy (solar + human-power)

Slide 19[edit | edit source]


  • Heat sinks with rocks
  • Nursery (details later)
  • Aquaculture
  • Wind zone
  • Still zone (windbreaks on West)

Slide 20[edit | edit source]

Community Food Forest

presented by Heidi
  • Compare to existing community gardens (foraging vs plots)
    • P-Patches (collective areas vs individually maintained areas)
  • What does Permaculture Community Farming look like?
    • Examples (include precedent)
  • Bees
  • Ducks?
  • Craft hedge

Slide 21[edit | edit source]

Education, demonstration + Interactive elements

presented by Heidi

Designing for children

  • Children's nest area between Community Garden + Harvest House
  • Water pumping with carousel
    • Offers area that is easily supervised by parents using Community Garden
  • Climbable elements in transition hill between JPFF + Upper ballfield
  • Vermaculture (Worm bins)
    • Compost Tea brewing

Slide 22[edit | edit source]

All ages recreation[edit | edit source]

Transport & Recreation[edit | edit source]

  • Gentle slopes for sledding run
  • Zip line + bucket hauler

Pumping system[edit | edit source]

  • Bike-powered watering system

Slide 23[edit | edit source]

presented by Jacqueline

Food Forests

  • Definition
  • Refer to Jenny Pell's year 2020 Challenge

Slide 24[edit | edit source]

Food Forest Farm (North area)

  • Precedent (examples)
  • Mayor Nickels Goals
  • Berries to Fruit trees to Conifers

Plant Guilds[edit | edit source]

  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Type 3

Slide 25[edit | edit source]

presented by Daniel

Plant Guilds (Pt. 2)

Type 4: Native guilds[edit | edit source]

Points[edit | edit source]

  • Collaborative educational work with Seattle Permaculture Guild
    • Relate to Parks Dept. Native Plant Policy
    • Discuss about guild info sharing (hard to find example Native guilds, or PNW Guilds)
    • Designs for specific local challenges, hillsides, invasives, low maintenance, et cetera)
      • (I.e. Specific challenges like conifers (such as Dough Fir, dominant NW tree) (causes acid soil, other allelopathic elements) (Ribes family: Blueberries, raspberries can grow underneath and perhaps fruit trees. Also, "the floor could have nettles, chickweed, salal (berries are edible) Oxalis and mushrooms!!" (reference:

Guild[edit | edit source]

Stacking up the forest garden layers"

  • (1) Canopy/tall-tree layer
  • (2) Low-tree layer (dwarf fruit trees)

Service berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) (Function: edible), Pacific crabapple (Malus fusca) (Function: use for grafting (edible)),

  • (3) Shrub layer Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) (Function: edible, insectiary, forage, medicinal, tea, hedgerow)
  • (4) Herbaceous/herb layer

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

  • (5) Rhizosphere/root crops/root layer
  • (6) Soil surface//cover crops/ground cover layer
  • (7) Vertical layer (climbers, vines):

Wild Blackberry (Rubus ursinus) (Function: edible), Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) (Function: edible), Red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) (Function: edible), Blue elderberry (Sambucus cerulea), Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)

  • (8) Mycosphere (fungi)

(references U. Washington,

Slide 26[edit | edit source]

Type 5: Aquaculture guilds[edit | edit source]

  • (1) Canopy/tall-tree layer
  • (2) Low-tree layer (dwarf fruit trees)
  • (3) Shrub layer
  • (4) Herbaceous/herb layer

Typha Latifolia (Cattail) (already on property) (Native edible, biomass crop for renewable energy, heavy metal treatment, *invasive*, "Leaves and stems have been used around the world as bedding, thatching, and matting, and in the manufacture of baskets, boats and rafts, shoes, ropes, and paper"; Dense Sedge (Carex densa) (Native, aviary, erosion, drought)

  • (5) Rhizosphere/root crops/root layer

Yellow Pond Lily, Spatterdock (Native, Nuphar polysepalum) "Rhizome is medicinal, seeds were a food staple of various native groups."

  • (6) Soil surface//cover crops/ground cover layer
  • (7) Vertical layer (climbers, vines)
  • (8) Mycosphere (fungi)

(References Wallace W Hansen's NW Native Plants, +

Slide 27[edit | edit source]

"Other Structures" overview

presented by Daniel
  • Composting toilet
  • Internship/tenting areas
  • Shepherd's house
  • The Inn at JPFF
  • Nursery
  • Toolshed
  • Bike shed (loan + repair)

Slide 28[edit | edit source]

Composting toilet

  • Function
  • Benefits
  • Challenges
  • History of composting toilets in Seattle
    • Marra Farm composting toilet system rejected
    • Picardo Farm P-Patch first municipal composting Toilet in 2009
    • Limitations relating to use of end product
      • City of Seattle requires end product be removed by sanitation company.
      • Disruption of Nutrient Cycle

Slide 29[edit | edit source]

Shepard's Quarters - Intern Program

Slide 30[edit | edit source]


  • Year round growing
  • Warmth to living quarters
  • Heated by animals

Cobb root cellar

Slide 31[edit | edit source]

Green bed & breakfast

  • Provides immersive experience
  • Revenue
  • Education
  • Promotion
    • Green Building
      • Solar showers
      • Rocket stove and fire heated hot tubs[2]
      • Finish sauna and cold plunge pools
      • Passive refrigeration
      • Passive solar heating
      • Siting for seasonal sun movement, earth cooling
      • Green roof
      • Water catchment
      • Vertical gardening wall

Slide 32[edit | edit source]

Other features

  • Design for barefooters (Grounding)
    • Reflexology path

North Gateway[edit | edit source]

  • Kiwi Trellis

Contemplative/Urban refuge[edit | edit source]

  • Yoga/pilates/meditation group staging area
    • Quiet contemplation
  • Sunbathing area
  • Places to hide
    • For people (Sunflower spiral)
    • For animals

Woo-woo[edit | edit source]

  • Fancy water ormus generating spiral vortext system

City-repair inspired[edit | edit source]

  • Cobb benches (covered)
  • Solar-powered night lit cafe, reading room + Share-it Square style library
  • Portable sound-system on trailer for working in garden (I.e. Bullocks Farm)

Slide 33[edit | edit source]

Site security

  • Areas of concern
  • Fencing vs. not fencing

Slide 34[edit | edit source]

How to get involved

Slide 35[edit | edit source]

Colllaborative Partners?

  • Jefferson Park Alliance
  • City of Seattle
    • Climate Action Now
    • Seattle Public Utilities
      • Street Edge Alternatives (SEA Streets) Project
    • Seattle Parks & Recreation
    • Dept of Neighborhoods
  • P-Patch Trust
  • Seattle Permaculture Guild
  • Seattle City Repair
  • Pomegranate Center
  • Seattle SCALLOPS
  • Cascadia Food Not Lawns
  • Ignition Northwest
  • Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
  • Local Ecovillages
  • Intentional Communities
  • Green Seattle Partnership
  • EarthCorps
  • Raw Network of Washington
  • Food Bank
  • Food not Bombs
  • Lettuce Link

Slide 36[edit | edit source]