Forest Gardening Teacher Training
Ecological Vision & Practical Application to a Sustainable Future
Forest Gardening is an unique course combining the ancient wisdom of Ecological Design, Deep Ecology and Forest Gardening with the application Regenerative Practices.
Forest Gardening is experiencing Gaia in Action. It is the ancient art of rooting to place.
You can create a beautiful, diverse, high-yield garden. If planned and created with attention and deep understanding of ecosystem function, you can also achieve a garden that is primarily self-maintaining.
"Those who are concerned with the full implications of the ecological crisis which we now face generally agree that urgent steps should be taken to plant many millions of trees. There is no reason why many of the desperately needed new trees should not be fruit trees planted in peoples gardens and public green spaces comprising of fruit and nut trees, fruiting bushes and climbers as well as herbs and perennial vegetables."
~Robert Hart, Pioneer and Originator of the term forest gardening
Forest ecosystem exhibit numerous advantageous properties we humans would be wise to follow: they sustain, restore, enrich and proliferate themselves without human efforts; they build, store, and sustain clean water, clean air air, nutrients, soil quality, and biodiversity; and they create stability, resilience and adaptability. These qualities transpire from the dynamics of the forest as a whole system, not from any one or more of the elements that comprise the forest alone.
Together, we can make a stand for universal access to fresh healthy organic food, for greening our cities, and protecting biodiversity. With this poetic and pragmatic act, we can make a commitment to the environmental and community health of our city and the next generation!
Intuition and common sense tells us that we are one with the Earth. If our world is sick and poisoned, then so are we. If the forests are being destroyed, then we die a little with each felling. Humanity is being faced with the beautiful reality that we are a part of a ‘shared planet'.
We are at a turning point on the planet, with the realization that the intimate embrace of our world is a healing force moving humanity towards a transformation in our relationship with the earth, each other and ourselves.
Having studied and integrated the various aspects of forest gardening you may feel called to share what you have learned with others. Certified forest garden educators will be able to facilitate this wisdom-centered course. Each of the trainings includes practical instruction, which you can begin to apply immediately into your daily life.
The forest gardening correspondence course can be taken individually or as a part of the full diploma course. Previous organic gardening or forest gardening practices experience is not required. This educational process is for people from all walks of life who are enthusiastic about bringing the path of the forest gardening lifestyle practice into their own lives and to their communities.
"When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, There is always the garden."
Please see our photo gallery for Forest Gardening
Become a Forest Garden Educator - An Active Agent in the Transformational Shift
This teacher training is for those wanting to learn how to create gardens that sustain humans and nature, are easy to manage, require few tools and give you the highest quality food. Regenerative Forest Gardening gets its inspiration and direction from observing and following the patterns of nature and how she creates gardens that sustain and nourish all life.
This ecological mentorship approach teaches the skills necessary to become confident in the applications of designing with local plants and trees. Between time in the gardens, field work and classroom presentations you will experience lots of hands-on learning and application of ecological design processes. You will also learn how to identify nutritional and medicinal plants during your field studies.
The ecological perspective of this course supports a deepen of your connection of deep ecology of nature and plant understanding. It's primary focus being on the roots of regeneration and the practical skills in forest gardening design. Learn a solid, wholistic, ecological worldview, while simultaneously getting hands-on solutions practice that demonstrate how to create a regenerative, abundant and rewarding lifestyle. At the end of this in-depth study course, you'll have the working knowledge and ability to go out and make a difference in your neighbourhood as a community forest garden designer and educator.
This course is an integrated part of the mentorship program, which runs each year from early spring to late fall. It is an empowering and hands-on experiential way to learn. Learn more>
The Forest Gardening Diploma Process
An ecological garden is one that is designed to benefit both humans and the surrounding, interwoven, natural world. We aim to enhance nature's ways, with our strategy to 'work with nature' rather than against her. We choose techniques that rebuild soil and nutrients, rather than disrupt soil communities, and we carefully select diverse plant communities to be self-reliant, self-maintaining, and self renewing. The ultimate goal is to establish a garden in harmony with nature's patterns, resulting in a landscape that requires less maintenance.
To qualify for the Forest Gardening Educator's Diploma course, the following pre-requisites must be completed:
Forest Gardening Diploma Process is divided into three parts:
Part 1: Correspondence Course
The correspondence course come with a course Adobe DVD Reader and textbooks with the essential material to provide you with the information and instruction needed to become a Forest Gardening Educator
In addition, you will receive reference books from the leaders in the field of forest gardening and ecology as essential parts of your study. Upon completion of each section you will be asked to submit the lesson for examination and feedback.
After completing the correspondence course and mentorship program you will be asked to write a thesis paper and research project to evaluate your competence and the practices and principles of Forest Gardening. The estimated time for completion of the course is one to two years.
Part 2: Completion of the Mentorship Program
Completion of our Forest Gardening-Practical Herbalism Mentorship Program
The Mentorship will be available each year approximately one 3-day training weekend every other month from early spring to late fall plus our 7-Day Intensive at The Living Centre and can be taken at your convenience. See our Mentorship Program for dates>
Part 3: The Completion of a Thesis & Research Project
This includes four One-to-One Tutorial Sessions
The One-to-One Tutorial Sessions are offered as an essential aspect of this course to both support and guide you in deepening your advanced ecological studies. You pick a specific topic/aspect of forest garden design that you desire to understand and articulate as a written thesis as well as a research project that you can offer to your community.
Upon completion of this uniquely designed educational process you will have the opportunity to become a Forest Garden Designer and Educator. As a certified instructor your relationship to The Living Arts Institute will be of the network of teachers.
This 350 hour diploma course will consist of instruction in core forest garden subjects such as a local plant materia medica, designing wholesome, dynamic, and resilient ecosystems using temperate forests as models, site walks, 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, plant botany, field studies, plant identification and ecosystem ecology. You will be both inspired and empowered to design food forests for yourself, friends and your local community.
130 Mentorship Classroom and Hands-On Hours in our Forest Gardening - Practical Herbalism 3-Day training weekends, 7-Day Intensives plus a two-day graduation weekend.
100 Correspondence Course Study Hours
100 Thesis and Research Hours
16 Field Study Hours
4 One-on-One Tutorial Hours
350 Total Hours
"By learning you will teach; by teaching you will understand."
Forest Gardening Diploma FAQ
Our aim in forest garden design is for a state of 'regeneration' of the earth's natural life systems. Not only do we aim to maintain and sustain natural systems - here we aim to improve them!
We plan for cultural shifts in the face of climate change, diminished fossil fuel supply, and economic turns - in our communities across the globe, in our local bioregions, and at home. We employ techniques and strategies for a renewal of earth systems, work that is deeply connected to renewal.
What are the prerequisites for completing the Diploma Course?
• Incorporating the Practices and Ethics of the Path of the Forest Gardener into one's life-style.
• Attendance and Completion of:
Completion of our Forest Gardening Correspondence Course
Completion of our Forest Gardening-Practical Herbalism Mentorship Program
Completion of a Thesis Paper & Research Project
- Writing a 5,000 word thesis
- Conducting a research project and presentation at the end of course of study
When will I receive the Correspondence Course?
Some people realize that they want to become a Forest Gardening Educator after attending one or more trainings. The Correspondence and Mentorship program course can be applied once you know this is the direction you wish to take.
The Correspondence and Mentorship program course provides foundational information and will support the education you receive in during the mentorship weekends, and therefore, can be incorporated into your course of study and practice as soon as you are ready.
The Correspondence Course will be mailed to you within 10-14 days of registration. The Correspondence course provides foundational information and will support the education you receive in the trainings.
How long will it take to become certified?
All participants will have three years to complete the program after receiving the Correspondence Course.
What does it mean to be a Living Arts Institute Educator?
Upon completion of this uniquely designed program, the correspondence course and teachers training you will have the opportunity to become a Forest Gardening Designer and Educator.
519-652-0230 or 519-652-9109
The Forest Gardening Profession
There is no culture, ancient or modern that did not use plants as part of their natural way of life.
The forest gardener's path comes to us from a long lineage of responsible living practices. Forest Gardeners of today is a fairly new career in North America. Many are self-employed, operating their own consulting practice; grow edible or medicinal plants for sale for customers; or educate the general public. Teaching positions are becoming available in colleges and schools continuing education programs.
If you are enthusiastic about working with plants and people; if you would like to learn more about the transformative power of a forest garden and how to use them to enrich your life, and how to share this leading edge information with others, then the Forest Gardening Diploma Course is for you.
Discover how to teach and empower others to experience lasting health, soulful connection with nature and be of service to humanity and the Earth through our group and individual one-on-one trainings.
Become a part of the expanding Living Arts Institute network.
Imagine ... making a living doing what you love, while supporting others and the planet.
Is this Program for You?
If you agree to more than five of the following statements then The Living Arts Institute Forest Gardening course may be for you!
1) I want to start a successful practice as an Forest Gardening Designer and Educator.
2) I want professional training that will help me implement the skills and techniques to motivate and inspire others in the way of a regenerative lifestyle.
3) I want access to the leading-edge up-to-date education from forest gardeners foremost thinkers and authors
4) I want to be around radiant, healthy and motivated people - who want to support others to be healthy and reach their optimal potential.
5) I believe that incorporating edible and medicinal plants is a common sense approach to living a vibrant life.
7) I could enhance my current educational background with the many lifestyle approach of plants and trees.
8) I can benefit from deepening my connecting nature.
9) I see myself as an forest gardener educator.
Upon completion of your course you may become a part of The Living Centre's network team.
A Growing Need
The Forest Gardening course takes you back to the source of working with plants where lifestyle practices become a way of life. Through plant identification, ecological pattern design, regenerative gardening practices and reconnection with the Elements you will be given a wholistic model of forest gardening education that brings lasting results.
Forest Gardening is an innovative process that facilitates the well-being and deep ecology issues that are needed in this modern world. Forest Gardening is an amazing preventative natural system, with a lineage to the beginning of time.
Creating a Fulfilling Career
Upon completion of the Forest Gardening Course you will be eligible to create a career as an ecological Forest Gardening Educator. Assessing the emergent popularity of the natural living arts, a career as a Regenerative Forest Garden Educator is both rewarding and fulfilling, knowing you are making a difference.
The Forest Gardening principles can be taught and applied through teaching workshops, in schools and colleges, in ecology centers and in professional institutions which incorporate innovative processes to educate their staff and employees about preventive health and well-being.
Choosing a career as a Regenerative Forest Gardening Educator will open doors of opportunities in a variety of environmental educational centers and institutions. Or you may desire the scheduling flexibility that being a private Forest Gardening Educator can give you. Either way, life as an Forest Gardening Educator enables you to experience continual growth for yourself in a regenerative lifestyle, as well as enjoy the noble opportunity of being of service of others.
• The Organic and Ecological Activities
• Teaching and Private Landscape Tutoring
• Educational Consulting Design Services
• Natural Health, Wellness Centers and Resorts
• Wholistic Stores that are interested in setting an example of Sustainability
• Ecological, Environmental & Nature Centers
• Include in your already existing wellness practice
Follow your Bliss, and Fulfillment will Follow!
Forest Gardening is Beyond just an Amazing Concept – it’s a Campaign!
Looking to take forest gardening to the next level?
“My vision is to inspire and educate individuals as to the whole system benefits of forest gardens from, climate change to relocalization of food and medicine sources and creating sanctuaries of human settlement in our communities. To do this we will help eager to learn participants and interns design and install these living systems.”
"The goal is to have 1,000 forest gardens in Carolinian Canada by the end of 2013. And, multiple to one million by 2017. I have no doubt we will get there as the realities of relocalization campaigns continue to expand." ~Shantree Kacera
I personally believe that an essential aspect to stopping energy decent and global warming is relocalizing community resource requirements on a global scale. Food, water, social interaction, fuel, and energy, these can all be created or accomplished locally. As a forest garden educator I see the aesthetic that people here in Southwestern Ontario want. This cultural aesthetic of landscape is devastating, energy intense, and fairly useless, impractical and unnatural. My goal and vision is to accelerate the paradigm shift in this bioregion in the way that individuals view the aesthetics of landscapes and empower landowners to realize their precious land as a functional and well-designed part of their lives, a base of their resource necessities and a solution to global scale concerns (i.e., Climate Change, environmental destruction, etc.)
The objective here is to train as many forest gardeners as possible to be confidant designers and installers of these living systems. As we change the community aesthetic, the market for food forests should start to spread to larger and larger scales. For this to happen will require many knowledgeable and experienced forest gardeners to take on these projects. One part of this goal is to help the forest garden movement get out of the cycle of always offering advanced training to inspired students and interns that requires a lot of capital. We want to be able to offer affordable trainings and courses to individuals. We need to get the forest gardening movement out of the financial groove and help provide right livelihood for those that want to make a career out of forest gardening.
Along with all of this is transitioning rural farms and orchards to more diverse and perennial food forest garden systems. The other desire is to transform vacant city lots, and transition public parks to food forest garden systems that deliver a surplus of resources for local neighbourhoods and wildlife. This is happening and expanding as part of our work here at The Living Centre and we will continue to thrust for more and more of this in our campaign.
We need enthusiastic individual to part of this solution. Join us in reforesting your bioregion.
“Obviously, few of us are in a position to restore the forests. But tens of millions of us have gardens, or access to open spaces such as industrial wastelands, where trees can be planted. and if full advantage can be taken of the potentialities that are available even in heavily built up areas, new ‘city forests’ can arise...” ~Robert A de J Hart, was the pioneer of forest gardening in the UK in the early 1960’s
Shantree Kacera, R.H., D.N., Ph.D.,
Shantree is a Nutritional Researcher, Therapeutic, and Visionary Herbalist, Permaculture Educator, Regenerative Designer, Deep Ecologist and Forest Garden Educator with 40-years experience in the Natural Healing Arts. He is the founder and co-director of The Living Centre (1983), and Living Arts Institute, a 50-acre permaculture educational centre located in Carolinian Canada growing 1,000 species of edible and medicinal plants and trees.
Shantree received his doctorate in Nutritional Medicine and Herbalism in the 70′s. Since then his passion and study has lead him to explore the benefits of a high-energy bioregional approach to organic nutrition. He has had the honour to teach, counsel and empower thousands of individuals on their health and educational journey.
A past Vice-President of the Ontario Herbalists' Association, Shantree served on the OHA board for 10 years and a member for over 30 years.
Shantree's deep connection to the Earth has drawn him into the teachings of shamanic and earth wisdom practices as well as Carolinian Canada native plant preservation and studies. He is a passionate edible forest gardener, permaculture teacher and well known for his unique circular medicinal-wheel garden.
Shantree is the author of numerous books and courses, which are offered through The Living Centre and are used through various schools and institutes in North America. Shantree is an internationally celebrated visionary, author, educator, nutritional researcher and world peace worker.
“Shantree is a true pioneer and his work deserves respect and celebration.”
Forest Gardening Diploma Tuition
A forest garden is one that is designed to benefit both humans and the surrounding, interwoven, natural world. We aim to enhance nature's ways, with our strategy to 'work with nature' rather than against her. We choose techniques that rebuild soil and nutrients, rather than disrupt soil communities, and we carefully select diverse plant communities to be self-reliant, self-maintaining, and self renewing. The ultimate goal is to establish a garden in harmony with nature's patterns, resulting in a landscape that requires less maintenance.
Standard Tuition Package is $3800.
Discount package $3000.
Save $800 from the standard price when you pay the tuition in full upon registration
Tuition when paid in full - $3000. CAD.
Includes all mentorship hands-on weekends, one-on-one tutoring sessions, handouts and and correspondence course material and textbooks.
Does not include hst tax, meals or accommodations in the diploma educational process.
Please call for further information and to register:
Payment can be made by certified cheque and is due prior to receiving the Correspondence Course or attendance of your first Training. Please make cheques payable and send to:
The Living Centre
5871 Bells Rd., London, ON.,Canada, N6P 1P3
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Upon completion this designed course you will have the opportunity to become a Forest Gardening Educator. We support you in teaching this course in a manner and frequency that suits your schedule. We will provide ongoing support including suggestions on promoting your services.
For information & dates for mentorship program click here>
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."