Gardening Like the Forest: Designing the Ecological Landscape

Envision living in an intentional, resilient, forage-able ecosystem in your yard, and it grows your food and medicine!

July 15 – 16, 2023

Imagine meeting your own needs while regenerating healthy ecosystems at the same time. Forest gardens mimic the structures and functions of natural forests while growing food, fuel, fibre, fodder, fertilizers, farmaceuticals, and fun.

Healthy forests maintain, fertilize, and renew themselves naturally.
Ecosystem cultivation endeavours to mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems in food and medicine-producing ecologies. The most practical level requires designing guilds of plants, often in the form of polycultures. Successful polycultures combine valuable plants to reduce competition, create additive yields, and decrease the gardener’s work and outside inputs (e.g., water, fertilizer). The most exciting and challenging part of the garden design process is polyculture design. Each day will build off the next; this training explores the detailed ecological theories and practical design processes behind polyculture design through exercises and techniques. Participants will observe, evaluate, and redesign perennial polycultures at The Living Centre.

  • A Forest Gardener’s Tool Kit
  • The Seven-Story Garden: Vegetation Layer
  • Design Processes 1: Overview, Goals, and Assessments
  • Design Processes 2: The Design Phase
  • Natural Patterns in the Garden
  • An Intimate Way of Guild-Building
  • The Polycultural Elements of Forest Gardening
  • Designing Plant Guilds and Perennial Polyculture
  • Management, Maintenance, and Co-evolution
  • Blueprinting Your Polyculture

“We only invented the word organic because we made things inorganic.
We only invented the word natural because we made things unnatural.
We only invented the word permaculture because we made agriculture.”
~Khang Kijarro Nguyen

To Register

Date: July 15 – 16, 2023

Time: 9 am to 5 pm.

Early-bird: $250 (two weeks before the workshop)
The regular price is $300

Includes: all workshop materials, handouts & charts

All lunches will be potluck style, using as much as possible organic, local, wild, live-food plant-based ingredients. The centre will provide in-season soups, salads, herbal teas and snacks.

It does not include taxes, accommodations or travel.