Food Forest Futures in Southern Vermont

This May of 2021 I installed ‘Food Forest Futures’ — a living biological network of seven layers of a food forest, and manifesto, and a back yard, community, and guerrilla food forestry plant giveaway. The project was by invitation, as part of the Bennington Local Food Summit, and the Center for Public Action at Bennington College.

See the full manifesto and companion species list here:

Food Forest Futures draws from indigenous, immigrant, permaculture and bio-intensive design strategies to
introduce 7 layers of a food forest, attract beneficial animals, microbes, and insects, and integrate
plantings of beneficial, medicinal, edible plants. Rather than having one plant crop per row, plants are
mixed together based on how they can help one another — through nutrients, structure, resistance to
pests. These plant companions spark new understandings of how the cultivation of biodiverse food and
habitat for our nonhuman kin simultaneously generates food and habitat for commoners.
As a creative ecology, Food Forest Futures intervenes in the ecological dynamics of public and private
property in the rural context, and gestures towards naturalcultural worlds that might fold economic
divisions and redistribute abundance. Food Forest Futures gestures towards multi-species commons,
understanding the commons to be spaces of care, of “cooperative labor, common resources, and
communal distribution” that precedes European colonization in the Americas, as in many other parts of
the world.

Food Forest Futures recognizes differing opportunities for cultivating commons, and invites
visitors and participants in the Food Summit to choose the combinations of plants, seeds, and
associated reading materials on offer to continue commoning in backyard, community, or guerrilla

Food Forest Futures takes place on the traditional and unceded territories of the Mahican Nation.