Wetherby Edible Forest

The Wetherby Edible Forest inspires our community to gather and grow healthy food in ways that rehabilitates our local ecosystems while increasing equal access to food.

The edible forest measures 1/3 of an acre and is designed to accommodate large harvests, fun gatherings and frequent meandering.

The forest is an orchard ecosystem of interconnected plants that benefit people and our environment. Tasty fruits and nuts, medicinal herbs, and beautiful flowers are planted throughout.


All food is free for harvesting and eating. No synthetic pesticides or herbicides have been applied.

Location

West side of Wetherby Park

2400 Taylor Drive, Iowa City

Directions

Volunteer
The forest is not just a project for the community, it is a project of the community. Please donate your time and spread the word about this local treasure.

Stay in touch by receiving emails about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

What is an Edible Forest?
An edible forest is a gardening technique that emulates a healthy woodland ecosystem.

 

The system combines edibles with native habitat rehabilitation, yielding food, medicine and materials while supporting desired birds and insects, conserving rainwater, reducing erosion, building soil and cleaning air. Fruit and nut trees form upper canopy levels, while berry shrubs and edible herbs make up lower levels. Plants are perennials that come back every year with little maintenance.

Harvest Schedule
Herbs available throughout the growing season:

  • French sorrel

  • Oregano

  • Thyme

  • Chives

  • Yarrow

  • Anise hyssop

  • Lovage

  • Dandelion

  • Plantain

  • Walking onion


End of March through early April:

  • Honeyberry

June through August:

  • Rhubarb


Mid-June and end of June:

  • Cherry (tree), Juneberry/serviceberry


Early July:

  • Gooseberry, currant, Roman chamomile, self-heal

End of July and early August:

  • Peach, bush cherry, elderberry, aronia berry


Mid-August:

  • Apple, pear, beach plum

 

Public Benefit
The goal of the forest is to bring the richly diverse community together by fostering an ecological-based approach to urban farming and land stewardship. By building a community around sharing food with the public we hope to be inclusive to all in need of food.

Together we can...

 

  • Decrease grocery bills: Baskets of delicious fresh food will be available for grazing and storing.

  • Increase health: Research shows that children (and adults) who grow fruits and vegetables are much more likely to eat them.

  • Increase self-reliance: Learning to grow food and increase environmental health reduces dependence upon distant people and organizations.

  • Increase habitat: Desired feathered and buzzing friends keep undesired pests in check.

  • Mitigate climate change: Unlike annual crops, perennial plants sequester large amounts of carbon which helps meet community sustainability goals.

This project would not be possible without sponsors and supporters. Please frequent these generous organizations to thank them for donations of materials and funds.

Logo: Iowa City Parks an Recreation
Backyard Abundance

Backyard Abundance is a leading educational nonprofit that helps people create vibrant, engaging outdoor spaces that benefit families and our environment.

P.O. Box 1605

Iowa City, IA  52245

319-325-6810

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