Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Forest Gardens and Edible Ecosystems 2019

Forest Gardens and Edible Ecosystems 2019

Forest Gardening
Key Info: 
  • Learn intensive agroforestry techniques
  • Harvest, preserve and cook perennial vegetables
Fee: 
£ 570.00
Course fees include a four-night stay private accommodation from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure as well as all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and teaching sessions.

Forest gardens are one of the most sustainable and regenerative ways of growing edible crops. They have grown in popularity in temperate climates over the past 20 years. This course is designed to help you both start designing a forest garden according to your needs and to look at uses of possible produce.

Many people feel unsure or deskilled when it comes to cooking and processing unusual vegetables and fruits; this course will give you knowledge and confidence to start cooking and experimenting with more unusual crops that you may wish to include in a forest garden design.

Tutors include the world expert Martin Crawford, founder and director of The Agroforestry Research Trust (whose 25 year old forest garden is on the Dartington Estate) and leading permaculturalist Caroline Aitken of Patrick Whitfield Associates.

The course will involve a tour of the Schumacher College Forest garden which is in its early stage of development and a close look at its design. Tours of Martin Crawford’s established and pioneering forest garden at Dartington, a tour of his younger forest garden and pioneering forest garden greenhouse, a nut trial site, and hands on harvesting, preserving and cooking of some forest garden produce with Caroline Aitken.

This is an exciting opportunity to experience edible ecosystems at different stages of development and with differing emphases and to learn about gathering and using the harvest with expert practitioners and joint authors of Food from your Forest Garden.

What will you gain from taking part in this course?
• Learn what a forest garden is
• Experience forest gardens of different sizes and ages with agroforestry and permaculture experts
• Gain practical knowledge and confidence to cook and experiment using your crops
• Learn and take part in harvesting and preserving produce

This courses is for you if you are a:
• Gardener wanting to learn about more sustainable systems
• Permaculture practitioner
• Agroforestry practitioner

Caroline Aitken

Caroline Aitken

Caroline is a permaculture teacher and runs Whitefield Permaculture design consultancy. She teaches and speaks at venues around the UK and is passionate about soil regeneration, agroecology and healthy, sustainable food. She has previously worked in horticulture, small-scale farming, green catering, illustration and design.

Caroline currently lives on a smallholding with her family on the edge of Dartmoor, Devon where they produce fruit, vegetables, honey, eggs and firewood for their home. She trained and worked with Patrick Whitefield (author of The Earth Care Manual) for several years and co-authored Food From Your Forest Garden with Martin Crawford.

Martin Crawford

Martin Crawford

Martin is Director of the Agroforestry Research Trust, a non-profit-making charity that researches into temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops. It produces several publications and a quarterly journal, and sells plants and seeds from its forest gardens (link is external). He is a director of ‘Gaia’, a Trust formed by James Lovelock to further his work.

He has had broad and varied horticultural/agricultural experience over the last 25 years – he has worked for the Yarner Trust in North Devon, teaching small-scale organic agriculture; grown food for a small hotel on the Isle of Iona; restored the walled gardens of a manor house in mid-Devon; and run his own organic market garden and tree nursery in South Devon. Martin writes books and edits a quarterly journal, Agroforestry News. His book Creating a Forest Garden – the forest gardening ‘bible’ – was published in 2010. His other books include Cherries: Production and Culture, Directory of Apple Cultivars, Directory of Pear Cultivars, Peaches and Apricots, Plums: Production, Culture and Cultivar Directory, Currants and Gooseberries, Blackberries and Raspberries, Chestnuts: Production and Culture, Hazelnuts: Production and Culture, Walnuts: Production and Culture, Bamboos, Ground Cover Plants, Nitrogen-fixing Plants for Temperate Climates, Timber Trees for Temperate Climates, Edible Plants for Temperate Climates,Useful Plants for Temperate Climates, Plants for Hedging, Plants for Basketry, Bee Plants and Dye Plants. His latest book, How to Grow Perennial Vegetables , was published in 2012.

Ella Sparks

Ella became interested in horticulture and sustainable food systems whilst undertaking the Shift Bristol Practical Sustainability Course.  After a year spent woofing on different farms and working at a tree nursery in Ireland, Ella came to Schumacher in 2016 to study on the practical residency in sustainable horticulture, with a particular interest to in forest garden and agroforestry systems. After the program, she continued working in the Schumacher gardens as a horticultural intern for a further year. In autumn 2017 she has started a two year project at the college developing a fruit and nut tree nursery and developing the new forest garden area in the college’s main growing field.

Jane Gleeson

Jane Gleeson

Jane graduated in Medical Sciences at Cambridge University in 1990 and spent over ten years working in the NHS mostly within the field of mental health. She also studied theology, looking at religion and mental health. 15 years ago she started gardening and soon was completely hooked. “I was simply bowled over by plants and how endless fascinating they are”. She studied and worked at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for three years and then taught Horticulture at Hadlow College in Kent. Before coming to Schumacher she taught part time whilst running her own local garden maintenance business.

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A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.
 

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?
     

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.