2022 Greener Greenspace Profile
Delki Dozzi Community Food Forest
Initiated in 2017 by Sudbury Shared Harvest with the support from reThink Green, the Delki Dozzi Community Food Forest is located in a Sudbury city park and it features fruit trees, shrubs, living ground cover and perennial edible plants.
Design and Process
Sudbury Shared Harvest is a non-profit charitable organization that cultivates community health by connecting people, the food they eat and the land it comes from. The organization supports community members in gaining the knowledge, skills and resources they need to access or grow food.
In 2016 and 2017, volunteers led by Sudbury Shared Harvest initiated the creation of the Delki Dozzi Community Food Forest through a process that involved public outreach, dialogue with the City of Ottawa to select land in a city park, and consultation with a food forest designer and coach who helped with the design and installation. Staff from Sudbury Shared Harvest worked closely with the designer and a few dedicated community volunteers who selected plants that grow well in Sudbury’s climate. The planting of the food forest took place in the spring of 2017 and 2018 and involved school groups and volunteers. Overall, the food forest is approximately 8,000 square feet.
The Delki Dozzi Food Forest, like other food forests, incorporates permaculture principles and mimics woodland ecosystems using edible trees, shrubs, and other perennials that are edible, medicinal or provide nutrients for other plants. Fruit and nut trees make up the upper level, while berry shrubs and (mainly) edible perennials make up the lower levels. The selected plants and trees are relatively low maintenance and require no watering after the first year. Various wildflowers and other perennials were added to enrich the soil and to attract pollinating insects and birds.
Now that the food forest is established, it is relatively easy to maintain. Volunteers and summer students participate in weekly work bees to tend the food forest. The organization offers food forest tours and other educational activities to engage new people in caring for the greenspace. Workshops are held regularly on topics such as wildflower seed collecting, planting a food forest of different sizes and scales, and fruit tree maintenance.
The food forest provides food for humans, insects, birds and mammals. The garden is open to all to help themselves to the products of the food forest. Although the food forest doesn’t solve food insecurity, it provides the tools for people to learn about locally-grown edible plants and trees and how to grow them, and it brings communities together to learn and enhance community resilience.
Since establishing Delki Dozzi Food Forest, Sudbury Shared Harvest has worked with a network of individuals and groups to initiate several much smaller food forests across the city. The organization’s goal is to facilitate at least one of these gardens on public properties in each of Sudbury's voting wards, with locations dependent on various factors, including a demonstrated commitment to long-term maintenance by people who live in the neighbourhood.
The Delki Dozzi food forest aligns with the City of Greater Sudbury's Strategic Plan priorities of addressing/mitigating climate change and the City's Community Energy and Emissions plan, because of water conservation strategies and through educational opportunities the organization offers.
For more information, visit Sudbury Shared Harvest's website.
Watch Sudbury Shared Harvest's presentation on SOUL’s 2023 Webinar Series on Ecological Approaches to Urban Land Care.
Photos c/o Sudbury Shared Harvest
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.See the full list of 2022 recognition recipients here