Food Forests Across America + On Visonary Culture Radio

Aloha! Jay Ma, who is producing this year’s Harmony Festival Eco Village, June 12-14 in Sonoma County, has pulled together an awesome collective activation on Food Forests education. You may remember that I produced the Eco Village at Harmony last year, which was very potent. This year I’ve passed the baton to Jay with Harmony Fest blessings, and I will be Emceeing. I look forward to seeing you there!

This activity around Food Forest Education and Action is very exciting for permaculturists AND anyone interested in sustainble, regenerative food practices. I’m super stoked to be having six of the world’s Food Forest Teachers on Visionary Culture Radio Monday night, April 6. Check it out!

Story by Jay Ma of Living Mandala

In an uncertain economy and changing world, local food security is an essential element to becoming sustaibable in this emmerging Green Economy. Join the campaign for local food security and learn how you can help to transform gardens, lawns, parks, and empty spaces into thriving edible landscapes that are beautiful, regenerative, and produce an abundance of delicious, locally grown food!

Food Forests Across America on Visionary Culture Radio!


Monday April 6th, 8:00 pm PST

Tune into Visionary Culture Radio with Laura Fox on Monday for a show on Food Forests Across America with special guest permaculture teachers from the east to west coasts of the U.S.


Call In :: 646-649-1957
Or Log In or Listen ::

Special Guests Include:

Erik Ohlsen – Founder & Director – Permaculture Earth Artisans
Ethan Roland – Founder & Director – AppleSeed Permaculture
Marisha Auerbach – Founder & Director – Herb ‘n Wisdom
Max Meyers – Director – Mendocino Ecological Learning Center
Jay Ma – Co-Founder, Director of Programs & Development – Living Mandala
John Valenzuela – Veteran Permaculture Designer, Educator & Consultant

What is a Food Forest Garden?

Imagine a forest where every single tree is dripping with fresh fruits and ripening nuts. Every shrub is packed with delicious berries, and every other plant is a medicinal herb, culinary spice, or beautiful edible flower. Tubers and root crops are abundant underfoot, gourmet mushroom logs sprout in the shade, and hardy kiwi vines climb back up through the layers of this multi-functional forest of food.

Food forests are diverse gardens modeled after natural ecosystems designed to mimic the way a forest thrives and regenerates. A forest continuously nourishing all elements in the system and produce a vast diversity of outputs, but requires little or no inputs to sustain itself. By recognizing the self-supporting, mutually beneficial relationships of the elements in a forest – from tall trees, smaller trees, shrubs, herbs, ground covers, vines, nitrogen fixers, insectaries, fungi, animals, and more, the food forest garden designs a similar system but replaces the components that are in a common forest with species that are preferred edibles and more useful for humans. The forest then becomes a Garden of Eden, in which edible or useful plants are found from head to toe, where something in season is always ready to eat, and the system requires little or no maintenance to sustain and regenerate.

Where Can I Learn About Forest Gardens?

We recommend the book – Edible Forest Gardens, by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier,
as well as Permaculture resources, practices, and philosophies.

The best way is to learn how to design and install a Food Forest Garden is by taking a hands-on course.

Upcoming Forest Garden Courses:

Forest Garden Immersion Course – April 23-26, 2009
Food Forest & Agroforestry Workshop in Maui  April 14-18

Forest Garden Immersion Course – April 23-26

Hands-on Training to Design and Implement Edible Landscapes

April 23-26, 2009
High Falls, New York
at Camp Epworth Permaculture Demonstration & Education Center
In Association with Appleseed Permaculture

Visit the Course website for More information



Course Description

This course immerses participants in the hands-on reality of designing and co-creating edible forest gardens. During the 4-day (Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun) course, participants learn how to design, establish, and maintain such Edible Forest Gardens of Eden.Together we will engage in the practical skills of forest gardening: propagation, grafting, planting & mulching, soil ecology, basic botany & horticulture, management & maintenance, plant identification, mushroom inoculation, foraging & wild edibles, community preparation of local medicines, and fresh forest garden cooking. Daily plant walks connect participants on a deeper level with a diversity of multifunctional herbs, trees, and vines. Participants share stories of their own forest gardening explorations, and a visit to an 11-year old local forest garden shows the evolution of these systems. We learn to weave forest gardening into our communities as well as into the soil.

Forest Gardening in the Northeast

This course functionally interconnects with other Forest Garden courses taught in the Northeast this season by providing cultural mentoring in the hands-on joys and challenges of starting and maintaining forest gardens. Our connection to the local  community will culminate in adding another quarter-acre of forest garden to last year’s acre-planting, and a celebration with the local permaculture community before returning home.

Food Forest Agroforestry Workshop & Retreat in Maui

April 14-18, 2009
Maui, Hawaii
Hale Akua Garden Farm

For More Information Click Here

Food, Fodder, Forage, Fuel, Fiber, Fungus, Fertility, Functional Farmaceuticals, Fertility Focusing on Pacific Island Tropical and Subtropical Forest Systems

Facilitators & Instructors

Penny Livingston-Stark
Doug Bullock
John Valenzuala
additional special guests


Organize and Install a Forest Garden Course in Your Town!

To organize a Food Forest Garden Immersion Course in your town contact:


About Laura Fox

Laura Fox, host of Visionary Culture Radio, produces events and media to assist in The Shift.
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5 Responses to Food Forests Across America + On Visonary Culture Radio

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Food Forests Across America + On Visonary Culture Radio

    • Thanks Brad! Nomi Shannon, my Wednesday night guest was also extremely excited about the Food Forest show. We spoke of it and about organic gardening, making a food forest on her property, community and food ‘preparedness’ and more on Wednesday night’s show which is now in the player on I am planning with Jay Ma to do a follow up on the Food Forests show later this summer, and on April 20, we are doing a show on Eco Villages. Thanks for listening! Together we can make a difference!

  2. This really is inspirational! I’m really passionate about planting trees in general, but especially fruit trees. Your idea of Food Forests is genius! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of this project.

    • Hi Nathalie! I am excited about this show too. We are lucky to have Jay Ma putting it all together and 5 guests who are specialists in Food Forest Gardening on the show Monday, April 6. 🙂 Jay Ma’s website at Living Mandala is a good resource too.

  3. The show was incredibly uplifting and optimistic about what the future of humanity could look like if we shift our aesthetic to align with sustainable practices such as food forest production, and rediscover our place as a thread within the spiderweb of life. Thank you so much Laura for supporting this movement and allowing our pioneer food foresters to make their voices heard!

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