Ten of the best permaculture designers from around the country, are converging on Auckland from September 26th-28th to offer New Zealand’s first three day Food Forest Hui and Training.
If you hold a permaculture design certificate (or have extensive experience in this area) and are interested in learning more about how to design and implement food forest systems, and to help create short courses to share with others, then don’t miss this event.
Register your interest now and we’ll be in touch.
Why forests of food
The logic of moving from the practice of turning soil to grow annual crops is becoming compelling in the face of more extreme weather events. While moving slowly around the country over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in dialogue on this subject with over 200 people at public meetings and in small groups. It’s clear that there is a tremendous increase in the number of people wanting to know more about how to put these food forest ideas into practice.
If you ask me if it’s a fad, I would say no it’s a trend, and a healthy one that is responding to the realities of our time! The benefits of using perennial plants in ways which mimic forest eco-systems, are multiple and exceedingly relevant in our climate-changed and increasingly energy-constrained world.
When land is covered with multiple layers of vegetation (food), it is not so vulnerable to drought, as the water in the soil is not so susceptible to evaporation from sun and drying winds. Likewise in heavy rain or flood events sediment is more likely to be deposited, rather than soil being washed away. Add to these benefits the massive reduction in energy needed to produce food in this manner, compared to industrial food growing methods, and it’s hard to resist.
What do they look like
Just as a food forest contains a tremendous diversity of plants, there are also many ways to build a food forest. They will reflect the makers and managers of them – their needs, life-styles, preferences, local environment and its climate. There is no one-size fits all, and the evolution of this idea is now moving into larger scale commercial experiments of 20 ha (50 acres) and more that are being designed to allow for intelligent and efficient harvesting.
Heidi’s 20 year old forest garden in Ohakune
The Guyton’s 15 year old forest garden in Riverton
Christy Ralph’s 4 year old forest garden on Waiheke
The aim of this event is to build a brigade of Food Forest consultants. We want to empower people with a kit of tools and knowledge to:
- Teach “how to” courses to help others start the journey
- Promote themselves to potential clients
- Manage client relations
- Assess and design a food forest
- Confidently proceed with its implementation
- Know where to source the stock, materials and further knowledge
- Keep in touch and share learning
The opportunity is to become educated in the many aspects of food forest design and implementation as well as the business of supporting the growing number of people who need help. Come and hear from others who are involved in small and large food forest projects and share in the learning.
Call to action
Register your interest now and we’ll be in touch with you soon. Please know there will be a cost, as this event is being organised on short notice in response to a demand for more information, and we haven’t gone out for external funding.