The “Food Forest Project” in England works in several locations at a community level to help combat mental health issues through the planting of food forests. They consider that chronic loneliness, social isolation, mental health issues, stress and fatigue, and many other forms of suffering can be much reduced simply by being in nature; by being mindful of ones surroundings, and by planting and working in harmony with a food forest ecosystem. The idea is to work with local communities, and collaborate with other organisations to help alleviate suffering for those that need a helping hand to find community, and a sense of purpose.
The team at the FFP believes that natural, organic food should be accessible to everybody, irrespective of socioeconomic standing. In supermarkets, it is often the case that the organic ranges are priced highly rendering the organic market unattainable for many families and individuals, and therefore overlooked by many consumers. The organic produce grown in our community plots will be accessible to all, at no cost.
The health and wellbeing benefits instilled by being in natural spaces is huge for both body and mind. The UK’s National Health Service has started planting woodland as mounting evidence suggests that being in the countryside, specifically around trees can noticeably aid recovery. Our forests will be healing spaces of harmony and peace. Communities can forage for their own food, or sit and be mindful in a safe environment away from the stresses and demands of modern life.