The climate crisis will hit the Philippines hard.

Food forests will make us more resilient and prepared.

In our lifetime, a changing climate will force us humans to rethink how we live on this planet. Our fairytale ideas of infinite growth have driven many other species to extinction already, and we risk the same fate.

We need to stop treating Earth like a resource that's meant to be extracted and find more regenerative ways to support our existence. To survive.

Food forests can guide us towards a life sustaining future.

Why food forests?

A food forest (or edible forest, forest garden or home garden) is a food production system based on trees and perennial plants (like fruits and nuts) instead of annual crops (like corn and rice).

This has a lot of advantages:

  • Relatively low maintenance
  • More resistant to extreme weather conditions and diseases
  • Reverts some of the negative effects of deforestation
  • A source of income and quality nutrition for local communities
  • A source of construction materials and biofuels
  • A save haven for all kinds of lifeforms
  • No need for synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizer
  • And above all: it stores a lot of CO2 in the soil and trees

So we can feed ourselves, protect the environment, fight poverty, save endangered species and avoid climate armageddon. I say:

Let's turn the Philippines into a massive food forest.

Artwork by Molly Danielsson
© Molly Danielsson

Will it work?

You bet. Forest farming is already working in many parts of the world, including the Philippines. And home gardens have been a widespread tradition here for decades, with around 70% of the households growing food for their own consumption.

And apparently, we've been doing it for ages too. Several archeological findings suggest that some of the earliest cities may have been built by hunter-gatherers and horticultural societies. Something that was previously thought to be the result of agriculture. And in the Amazon, they found domesticated tree species which had been deliberately distributed throughout the rainforest by indigenous people long before Columbus "discovered" the Americas.

So even though much of modern life is based on agriculture, that might not be how it all started. Maybe our roots lie in the forest.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

Néhinaw (Cree indian) wisdom

So what's the plan?

Map existing forests

Because food forests are nothing new, there are plenty of forests already successfully growing out there. So let's start this project by collecting them on a map.

And why stop there? Any resource, person or organization that could support a growing food forest: let's put them on the map too. Nurseries, bamboo groves, NGOs, people that know stuff about trees.. On the map, so we can visit them, question them and learn from them.

By collecting all existing efforts this way, we paint a picture of what we want the Philippines to look like in the future. Green.

Wake people up

With this project, we also want to create awareness for the climate crisis in general. This is a crucial moment in history. If we don't stop emitting greenhouse gasses, our planet will become uninhabitable to us. Within the lifetime of our children. Maybe a few rich kids will find their way to Mars, but for the rest of us, there is no spare planet. And yet, we live as if we have 5 Earths to 'spend'.

This cannot endure. And I can't emphasize enough how urgent it is that we do something about it NOW. Millions of voices are speaking out all across the world, all saying the same thing: We need to act like our house is on fire.

Sprout new forests

We hope that this project will ultimately encourage others to start planting food forests as well. We want to show people that this works; that this is happening already and that it's doable, affordable and rewarding. Then who knows, food forests may go 'viral' here one day.

Let them become the places we go to on weekends. Let them feed us after a merciless typhoon. Let them (re)connect us with each other, city folk and indigenous people alike. Let them inspire us to take care of each other and remind us that nature is not something dangerous that must be kept at a distance.
We are nature.

Map

Food forest map

Forests

Forest database

Events

Reconnect with Nature

Stories

Spoken on behalf of the trees

Action

We need to act, NOW