Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Forest Gardens and Edible Ecosystems; Design, Harvest and Use

Forest Gardens and Edible Ecosystems; Design, Harvest and Use

Course dates: 
Monday, 14 May, 2018 to Friday, 18 May, 2018
Schumacher College Gardens

With Martin Crawford and Caroline Aitken

Join Schumacher College for 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.

At A Glance

  • Be assisted in designing a forest garden to meet your needs with agroforestry and permaculture experts
  • Gain practical knowledge and confidence to cook and experiement using your crops
  • Learn and take part in harvesting and preserving produce

About This Course

Forest gardens (or Edible ecosystems) 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 20 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 nursery site and pioneering forest garden greenhouse, a nut trial site, and hands on harvesting and preserving 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.

Contributors

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 is a true pioneer and his work deserves respect and celebration.” - Permaculture Magazine

“Martin Crawford is a frontiersman, a pioneering teacher and an inspiration. Both his work and his garden are national treasures.” - Chris Nichols, Director of the Ashridge MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility.

He 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.

Caroline Aitken Caroline Aitken

Caroline is the director of Patrick Whitefield Associates. She is the leading teacher on our residential and online courses and is our primary design consultant. Caroline originally trained with Patrick before working along side him, and has a background in design, organic food growing and horticulture and used to work as an eco-cook.

Her experience includes managing 2 acres of intensive organic vegetable production, managing 5 acres of ornamental and food gardens at a meditation retreat centre, and catering for groups, courses and retreats. Caroline has taught with other well-respected permaculture teachers both in Britain and Europe and runs her own courses at centres around the country including The Sustainability Centre and High Heathercombe.

Fee: 
£ 550.00
Course fees include private accommodation, all vegetarian meals and snacks, field trips including transport, materials and teaching sessions. Reserve your spot for only £150.00 deposit.