Forest Gardening Mentorship: Ecological Resilient Design
Ecological Resilience of Native Plants
“Learning from the forests to live is to reach the highest level a human can aim for.”
This program is committed to ‘planting the future’ by saving our native healthy and edible plants through an education that inspires tomorrow’s foragers, wildcrafters, herbalists, forest gardeners, permaculturists and ecologists. It offers a rigorous and intensive immersion into designing and regenerating our landscapes.
Discover how a genuine working relationship with Earth is the cornerstone for enduring personal, community, and ecological health and happiness. Learn how to achieve the same benefits natural systems demonstrate: stability, resilience, self-maintenance, self-renewal and increased nutrient conservation at personal and ecological levels.
We discover an ancient relationship with Nature through ecological study and forest gardening. One that evokes a sacred partnership with the living planet. You will learn ways to participate in creating thriving ecosystems that sustain and regenerate all life.
“The ultimate goal of both herbalism and forest gardening is not only the production of crops, but also the cultivation and perfection of new ways of seeing, of thinking, and acting in the world.”
In this 12-day intensive forest gardening design training mentorship, you will dive deeply into the vision, theory, and practice of designing healthy, integrated, vibrant and resilient ecologies using a healthy forest as our model. Shantree will offer presentations, field site walks, experiential exercises, and design projects to help you comprehend how natural forests’ architecture, social structure, underground economics, and successional progressions pertain to the design and creation of regenerative ecologies of all types. You’ll understand various ecological design processes while designing a compilation of wild and native food-producing ecologies. You’ll also participate in garden management, natural economics, and the profound exemplary shifts essential to co-creating “humanatural” landscapes and cultures.
Be both empowered and inspired through the seasons. From the land ecosystems at The Living Centre, you will learn about the wild and native plants of the bioregion.
This mentorship supports you in visioning the future you want to live and how to make that happen!
“Knowledge gained through experience is far superior and many times more useful than bookish knowledge.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
The Leadership Pathway
Forest Gardening for the Herbalist Path
This mentorship program is an excellent adjunct to your self-directed studies or complements the long-distance nutrition, herbalism, forest gardening or permaculture course you have taken or are enrolled in. Throughout the mentorship, we work together to accelerate your growth in your studies. The ability to work with complicated challenges can be dramatically reduced. This program helps build confidence as a wild nutritional and ecological garden educator.
This program offers simple yet effective processes, systems and structures to resolve significant challenges in your life and on the planet. It engages students in the active practice of the fundamentals of ecological design through real-life situations. The methodology, called “action learning,” allows students to learn professional design skills of inner and outer environmental regeneration and documentation techniques by carrying out their project work while maintaining regular contact with me. Participants may continue their studies beyond this program to complete one of our diploma courses.
The mentorship program is about gaining the tools to apply ecological herbalism and forest gardening understanding and experience and then apply this immediately to your life. You feel rooted and self-assured, knowing you are not alone in your desires and visions for a vibrant life.
The objective of this program is that all participants take action in their communities. Envision yourselves as a pebble thrown into a still pond. The pebble is the journey you are about to embark on, and the pond is the Earth. Each time a pebble is tossed into the pond, it evokes a ripple. Every ripple will spread out in a concentric ring from every pebble tossed. If enough pebbles are thrown into the pond, Earth’s surface will be covered with waves.
This action-learning program is process-oriented, learner-directed, and focused on designing and implementing real-life projects. Participants in the program carry out projects in their communities with support.
Who is this mentorship program for?
We are looking for enthusiastic agents of change who are ready to co-design new, socially just and ecologically sustainable approaches to how we live. We are looking for those prepared to take risks and stand on a new practice’s cutting-edge in this area.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” ~Plutarch
The Program Process
For 47-years, Shantree has shared his passion for the plant world; now, he has created this unique integrative plant journey for the first time. A system of philosophies, personal transformation strategies, and ancient earth wisdom will be shared to develop and deepen into the plant realm’s powers. With the healthy plants as our guides, we begin to see through the eyes of connection and oneness. Living rooted in the natural world’s cycles and laws yields a strategy for crafting positive connection cultures.
What You Will Learn
This mentorship weaves deep wild plant connection, nature immersion, eco-philosophy, deep ecology, systems thinking and ecological principles with the living arts, deep listening, and self-awareness skills as essential learning.
Processes and Practices
Discover ways to navigate through understanding plant nutrition and forest ecology, exploring cultural plant practices and methodologies, cultivating deep plant connection, balance, inner resilience, the arts, and other time-tested processes. Every session includes practices that reconnect us to the primal forces of living plants and the elements – Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Ether. These experiences refine your ability to consciously participate in life’s self-healing activity and creative unfolding between Head, Heart, and Hands.
Learn firsthand how to read the internal and external landscapes. Know how to recognize plants and ecosystems and what grows in what habitat. Develop the essential skills of tracking and taking case studies. Design herbal regenerative lifestyle protocols for yourself and others. Craft a community service that will be a sustainable livelihood and have a sense of fulfillment.
Design Your Focused Venture
As part of your journey, you will be invited to identify a project to actualize the program’s tools. Designing your focus can extend your work during the early phases of your mentorship program. You may either have an excellent idea of such a focused learning experience before starting this program, or you may observe during your mentorship material for coherent patterns. Your facilitator may wish to aggregate topics to create a focused concentration for your program with help from your facilitator.
‘Design Your focused learning inspires you to imagine creating a focused custom-tailored to suit your passions. Here are just a few examples:
- Start a herb garden operation.
- Begin an organic herb nursery
- Create a Forest Garden design operation
- Initiate a nutritional, herbal education business
The project may be more personal or an “inner” transformation. Growth is a lifetime’s work, and each person’s path is different. Your change and project will reflect your aspirations and callings. You will need to name the focus of your degree design pathway at least 3 to 4 months before completion. This will be discussed during the one-on-one sessions.
This mentorship program is designed as a modular spiral, which deepens with each training session. Participants will be introduced to new content during each session while sharing inexperience as a herbal tribal clan and a deep connection with the plant world. We begin with gratitude and setting collective intentions, spend our days in various configurations of small and as groups, learning together in the natural world, and end by sharing lunches and gathering in a circle. The learning and support continue through the seasons, with One-on-One sessions, small group tutoring sessions, buddy check-ins, and application of the educational materials. Moving between the deep-dive 3-day training and time to integrate and apply the content through the seasons makes the curriculum come alive and enhances a new way of being, living and engaging the world.
We request that participants attend ALL of the training, as unison is fundamental to building harmony and trust for our collective experience and deepening journey. If previous commitments mean missing more than two or three days of the program, please consider reapplying at another date. Outside the training, you stay in contact through a buddy system and engage in program projects on time. The research projects are designed to incorporate into and empower the life you choose to lead and your work with the plant kingdom. Please consider your capacity to participate fully before applying to the program.
“True education does not consist merely of acquiring a few facts of science, history, literature, or art, but of character development.” ~David O. McKay
Within a community of like-minded plant adventurers (maximum of 10 participants), held in the beauty of Nature’s embrace of our Forest Garden Sanctuary and trails, we will explore critical ingredients for creating a plant community to support a bioregional culture shift. This supportive community makes it easier to overcome challenges and blocks that keep you from experiencing your full potential and creative edge.
This experiential pathway will take us through the seasons of the plants of spring through fall. This mentorship intends to support individuals in becoming forest garden community advocates for our bioregion plants. The mentorship includes home study material and assignments.
** Upon completing this mentorship and the forest gardening correspondence course, you will receive a – Forest Garden Mentorship Certificate.
What Will Experience?
“Tell me, and I forget, teach me, and I may remember, involve me, and learn.”
You will come out of this program with a unique “Mentorship Medicine Pouch” a compendium of specific skills, practices, and approaches to improve your well-being and effectiveness as a forest garden educator. We’ll go from vision and theory to design and practice. Topics include visioning, project development, stewardship, design aptitude, and honour commitments. We will also explore aspects of inner leadership, such as cultivating gratitude, balance, ‘inner resilience,’ and exercises to root and ground your leadership in the heart, in Nature, and partnership with a community of other leaders.
Through this forest gardening regeneration design program, you will learn a new way of thinking and being. You will experience what is naturally yours – an intimate relationship with the wild plants. You will discover to source your leadership from this connection and stay attuned to your life patterns, creating a new level of success and awareness in your stepping–forth empowered.
- You will explore the correlation between ecological design thinking and the related disciplines of bioregionalism, ecology and their application to herbal design;
- The foundation of an ecological worldview (deep ecology, systems thinking, Gaia theory and the application of living systems principles to the design of systems, objects, and places;
- You will develop personal and group inquiry practices to raise awareness of the interdependent relationship between the individual, society, and Nature and between theory, experience and training;
- You will develop and enhance your design, communication, and facilitation skills in support of communities of place and interest;
- You will make use of a range of tools, methods and facilitation techniques to project delivery;
- You will co-create participatory, hands-on practices and theoretical principles for new approaches to the regenerative ecological design process of projects and apply them in your community projects;
- Using research indicators and case studies, how to assess the connection between the environment and built form, behaviour, well-being, and resource consumption.
“All the beauty lost before wants to find us again.”