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.

On-street parking is available but limited in both locations. We encourage walking or biking if possible.

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

    Environmental Programs Manager, City Arborist
    Phone: (240) 487-0290

  2. Colin Morrison

    Environmental Coordinator

  1. Available for Harvest: April - June
  2. Coming Soon!

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

  • 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)
  • Yaupon Holly: dry the leaves and enjoy a naturally caffeinated tea, high in antioxidants and low in tannins so it's never bitter. (anticipated April - May harvest)
  • Strawberries: A crowd pleaser! Look under the leaves to pick ripe red berries (anticipated May-June harvest)
  • Mulberries ‘Shangrila’: Pick dark purple berries from the trees. Mulberries can be enjoyed as fruit, made into pies and jams, or frozen and blended into smoothies! (anticipated May-June harvest)

Updated March 2023

Help Sustain the Food Forests!

Residents interested in supporting the sustainability and development of the Food Forests should e-mail

Emerson Street Food Forest
McClanahan Arbor Day Planting April 2022