Food Forest Design & Care for Cities and Suburbs

Design and build a permaculture food forest in your backyard, neighborhood, or city
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  • Lectures 17
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 12/2013 English

Course Description

You can build a permaculture food forest at your home, for a neighborhood, or as part of a city!

Food forests, or edible forest gardens, are life-filled places that provide

  • food for people
  • habitat for wildlife
  • carbon sequestering
  • biodiversity
  • natural soil building
  • beauty and tranquility
  • host of other benefits

This workshop covers the basics of designing, planting, and maintaining a many-layered woodland forest garden full of fruit and nut trees, perennial and annual vegetables, and flowers.

In this class Toby Hemenway gives you both the theory behind food forests and a wealth of practical information, including which plants to use, where to start, and what to expect as your food forest grows and evolves.

Toby Hemenway comes to permaculture with a strong science background. He is skilled at delivering complicated scientific topics to people who may not have a science background. In this course he explains the ecology behind a healthy, productive food forest or edible garden.

As a pattern specialist, Toby explores a variety of design strategies and techniques for you to use as you design your food forest. As he explores permaculture with you Toby explains the importance, application, and usefulness of the 14 Permaculture Principles. He also demystifies the sometimes confusing topic of guilds. He helps you understand what guilds are and shows you three ways you can design by guild as you create your own food forest.

Permaculture may be one of the most misunderstood terms out there. From this class you will gain a thorough understanding of what permaculture is, how it came to be, what it does, and most importantly what you can do with permaculture. Toby Hemenway clearly explains how you can apply permaculture to all aspects of your life as you strive to create regenerative systems. He will both inform and inspire! Upon completion you will hold the knowledge you need to create a food forest garden that will yield the results you want.



About Toby Hemenway

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which was awarded the Nautilus Gold Medal in 2011, was named by the Washington Post as one of the ten best gardening books of 2010, and for the last eight years has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world. Toby has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and has taught over sixty 72-hour permaculture design courses. He has presented lectures and workshops at major sustainability conferences such as Bioneers, SolFest, and EcoFarm, and at Duke University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware and many other educational venues. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Natural Home, Whole Earth Review, and American Gardener. He has contributed book chapters for WorldWatch Institute and to several publications on ecological design. Visit Toby’s website – The Center for Pattern Literacy.

After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories including Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife, Kiel, spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was the editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 2004, and spent six years developing urban sustainability resources there. Toby and his wife now live in Sebastopol, California.

What are the requirements?

  • An interest in organic gardening, local food, and forest gardening

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of this course you will be able to incorporate food forests into the design of your home, neighborhood, or city
  • In this course you will learn what food forests are, what permaculture is, and how to incorporate food forests into city & suburbs
  • You'll learn about soil building by zone, cover crops, swales, and other permaculture techniques
  • You'll learn how to use guilds effectively

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone with a passion for organic gardening and creating sustainable food systems

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction to Food Forest Design
06:58

From this collection of course excerpts you will get a glimpse of the depth and breadth of Toby’s knowledge of permaculture. You will get a feel for his clear and concise teaching style. Toby offers an introduction to permaculture including permaculture principles, zone systems, and a personal story about seeing his first food forest in Belize. Toby will pique your interest and inspire you to learn more!

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Section 2: Permaculture Explained
08:25

In this informative lesson, Toby simply and eloquently defines permaculture. He tells you what permaculture is, how it came to be, what it does, and most importantly what you can do with permaculture. Toby clearly explains how you can apply permaculture to all aspects of your life as you strive to create regenerative systems.

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12:49

In this lesson Toby goes on to further explore permaculture in the context of the ‘Rules for Resource Use’. With audience input and a course pdf, Toby uses the ‘Rules for Resource Use’ as an example of how you can make decisions in permaculture.

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Section 3: Food Forest for City and Suburb
14:00

This is the first of six lessons that make up Toby’s PowerPoint presentation titled ‘Food Forests for City and Suburb’. In this lesson, Toby talks about six reasons why you should make a food forest. He goes on to introduce the five pieces of forest structure necessary to mimic a forest; vegetation layers, soil structure and ecology, vegetation density, patterning, and diversity.

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14:52

In this lesson, Toby unpacks the first three pieces of forest structure; vegetation layers, soil structure and ecology, and vegetation density. He talks about the seven vegetation layers of a forest garden, the importance of edge and layering, soil horizons and soil life, and density or plant cover as a way of defining the community.

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16:58

In this lesson, Toby continues to unpack the pieces of forest structure moving onto patterning and diversity. He offers 10 different planting patterns as alternatives to today’s sole conventional planting pattern. He talks about how to blend different patterns for productivity and he shows how planting pattern affects access to sunlight. Toby goes onto talk about the benefits of diversity in the forest and the three ways you can bring diversity to your food forest through composition, structure and function. Next he begins to explore the principles of forest gardens including a thorough analysis of the benefits of moving from annual agriculture to a mature forest ecosystem.

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15:09

In this lesson, Toby extensively explores the topic of forest succession. He presents the idea of succession in patches as an approach to designing your forest garden. As Toby moves onto the topic of food forest design he presents a map of goals, strategies, and techniques that will help you design your food forest so it will yield the results you want. He teaches you how to embrace the fact that gardens change over time and how to design with that in mind.

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14:26

In this lesson Toby continues to explore food forest design with you. He walks you through a number of food forest plans and presents a few classic permaculture design models including mandala gardens and keyhole beds. Toby acknowledges the challenges of starting with a blank slate when it comes to designing a food forest. He offers some strategies to help. One of these strategies he explores with you thoroughly as he walks you through the design process for a specific site.

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15:03

In this lesson Toby begins by answering a number of questions from the audience. Then he presents the idea of a Food Forest Pattern Language as a design strategy. He takes you from alphabet to language as he shows you how to put all the pieces together as you design your forest garden. Lastly he shares a list of permaculture resources with you.

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Section 4: Permaculture Principles
16:48

In this lesson Toby addresses the 14 permaculture principles. He tells you what they are for and how to use them. With audience input and a course pdf he dissects these principles for you providing extensive examples to help you understand their usefulness, applications, and importance.

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14:22

In this lesson Toby continues to explore the 14 permaculture principles with you.

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Section 5: Soil Building by Zone
16:33

Toby begins this lesson by addressing some questions from the audience. These include questions about how to use mushrooms in a food forest, questions about soil amendments, hugelkulturs, and techniques for getting rid of weeds pre-planting. Then Toby introduces the zone system as he explores soil building by zone. He talks about the use of compost, sheet mulching, spot mulching, and cover crops as soil building techniques.

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Section 6: Cover Crops, Swales, and Other Permaculture Techniques
15:43

In this lesson Toby explores some common permaculture techniques including the use of mulches. He provides clear and concise information regarding the use of cover crops. He helps you figure out what cover crops would best suit your needs by filling in a cover crop matrix consisting of cool or warm season cover crops and nitrogen-fixing or non-nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Then Toby goes onto talk about swales; what they are, what the benefits are, how to use them, and how to install them.

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Section 7: What Works Here
17:00

In this location specific lesson, Toby relies on audience participation to generate a species list of trees and shrubs that work well in the greater Spokane, WA area. Audience members offer up trees and shrubs that they have successfully grown in the area. Spokane receives about 17 inches of precipitation a year, the majority of that falling between the months of October and March and about half of it falling as snow.

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Section 8: Permaculture Guilds
13:31

In this lesson, Toby uses Prezi as an alternative to PowerPoint for his presentation titled ‘Guilds: Building Blocks for Creating Ecosystems’. Toby takes this sometimes mystifying topic and presents it for you very simply and clearly. He uses the well-known three-sisters triad of corn, beans, and squash to explain what a guild is and how it works. He starts with a simple two-part guild, with pictures to clarify, then moves onto a more complicated six-part guild, also with pictures to clarify. Then Toby presents three methods for designing guilds – by structure, function, and analogy. He unpacks the idea of designing by structure as he talks about edge, layering, interplanting, and stacking. He begins to unpack designing by function as he talks about the first three of the six pieces of a guild: central elements, insectaries, and mulch makers.

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11:13

In this lesson, Toby continues his presentation on Guilds. He picks up where he left off in the preceding lesson and continues to unpack the remaining three pieces of a guild: nutrient gatherers (both nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators), soil busters, and barrier plants. Lastly, Toby presents the idea of designing by analogy or mimicking native plant communities. He uses the white oak/hazelnut community from northern California as an example of how you can design guilds by analogy.

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Section 9: Conclusion
04:14

To conclude, Toby offers a brief reminder of what permaculture is, what it does, and what you can achieve through its use – for personal, local, and global benefit.

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Instructor Biography

Toby Hemenway, Permaculture Expert. Author

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which was awarded the Nautilus Gold Medal in 2011, was named by the Washington Post as one of the ten best gardening books of 2010, and for the last eight years has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world. Toby has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and has taught over sixty 72-hour permaculture design courses.

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