Apr 15-24: Forest garden design workshop

Edible Ecosystems Emerging: Food Forestry for the 21st Century, a nine-day forest garden design intensive with Dave Jacke and friends.

April 15-24, 2011 at Wild Meadows Farm, 456 Smith Road, Schellsburg, PA 15559. Sliding scale fee of $850-$1100 includes course instruction and materials, as well as wholesome vegan/vegetarian meals. Lodging is not included and scholarships are available. For more information, contact Kim Walsh via e-mail info@wildmeadowsfarm.com or call 814-839-4962. To register, go to http://wildmeadowsfarm.com

Forest ecosystems exhibit many beneficial properties we humans would be wise to emulate in our culture, agriculture and horticulture: they maintain, renew, fertilize and propagate themselves without human inputs; they build, store, and conserve clean air, clean water, nutrients, soil quality, and biodiversity; and they exhibit stability, resilience, and adaptability. These qualities emerge from the dynamics of the forest as a whole system, not from any one or more of the elements that comprise the forest alone. To design productive edible ecosystems that express these same qualities, we must understand forest structures, functions, patterns, and processes and use this knowledge wisely.

In this nine-day intensive course, you will dive deeply into the vision, theory, and practice of designing wholesome, dynamic, and resilient edible ecosystems using temperate deciduous forests as models. Dave Jacke and his Pennsylvania-based teaching team will offer lectures, site walks, and experiential exercises to help you understand how the architecture, social structure, underground economics, and successional processes of natural forests apply in the design of edible ecosystems of all kinds. You'll learn a variety of ecological design processes while designing a range of food-producing ecologies at our host farm. We'll also engage with issues of garden management, economics, and the deep paradigmatic shifts required to succeed at cocreating “humanatural” landscapes and cultures. You will leave inspired and empowered to design food forests at home for yourself, and your friends, neighbors and clients.

A collaboration of CHEARS, Dynamics Ecological Design, Pittsburgh Permaculture, and Wild Meadows Farm

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