Food Forests

The Emerson Street and McClanahan Food Forests are open year-round for community members to harvest seasonally available fruits and greens!

These pesticide free, planned gardens incorporates a variety of shrubs, herbs, perennial berries, and fruit and nut trees safe for human consumption. Anyone is welcome to visit and harvest! 

Emerson Street Food Forest: 4515 Emerson Street
McClanahan Food Forest: Intersection of Oliver Street & Jamestown Road

Please be respectful of the plantings and your fellow community members when visiting. Follow guidance below to know when the produce is ripe. Bring your own kitchen scissors and a basket! Wash all produce at home before eating.

Children and pets are welcome but please avoid walking through the planted beds. Dog waste stations are provided; please pick up after your pets.

Pick Your Own!

View and print the Food Forest Map for locations of harvestable items.

Note that all harvest timelines are estimates and can change based on weather conditions.

  1. Dawn Taft

    City Arborist
    Phone: (240) 487-0290

  1. Available for Harvest: July - Sept.
  2. Coming Soon!

Harvest dates for the items below are estimates. Picking is first-come, first-served. The City cannot guarantee availability.

  • Currants: Pick clusters of firm, well colored berries. Berries are tart and make delicious jams and pies. (anticipated July harvest)
  • Bush Cherry: Cherries are ripe when they are bright red and slightly soft to the touch. Watch out for pits when eating! (anticipated July harvest)
  • Black Chokeberry: Harvest clusters of shiny black berries. The fruits are very tart and are best used to make jams and syrups, or baked into breads, cakes, and pies. (anticipated July harvest)
  • Thornless Blackberry: Pick dark purple berries to enjoy on their own or used in jams, desserts, breads, ice cream, and more! (anticipated July/August harvest)
  • Raspberry: Pick red berries to enjoy on their own or used in jams, desserts, breads, ice cream and more! (Raspberry plants do have thorns!) (anticipated July/August harvest)
  • Sea Kale: Mature green leaves can be clipped and eaten raw, steamed, braised, or baked into dishes. The flowers are also edible! (anticipated April - Nov harvest)
  • Sorrel: Pick bright green leaves that are about 4 inches long. This herb adds a lemony flavor to salads, soups, sandwiches, and sauces. (anticipated April - Nov harvest)

Updated July 2022

Help Sustain the Food Forests!

Residents interested in supporting the sustainability and development of the Food Forests should contact Dawn Taft, City Arborist and Environmental Programs Manager @ 240-487-0290 or

Emerson Street Food Forest
McClanahan Arbor Day Planting April 2022