Healthy forests maintain, fertilize, and renew themselves, naturally. Imagine having an ecosystem like that in your own yard, but it grows your food! Imagine meeting our own needs while regenerating healthy ecosystems at the same time…. Edible forest gardens mimic the structures and functions of natural forests while growing food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizers, farmaceuticals, and fun. This talk introduces the vision of forest gardening with some scientific background, a few living examples, and a sampling of some useful perennial edibles you can use in your own garden. We’ll focus on understanding the social structures of ecosystems, and see what lessons these have for our gardens, and for the ways we organize and understand ourselves as human beings.
One-Day In-Garden Workshop:
Saturday, September 22,2018, 9-5, Boston Nature Center
Gardening Like the Forest:
Designing Plant Guilds and Perennial Polycultures
Sponsored by Boston Food Forest Coalition
$100 for the day.
Some scholarships available, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please pre-register at:
Ecosystem agriculture attempts to mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems in food-producing ecologies. At the most practical level, this entails designing guilds of plants, often in the form of polycultures. Effective polycultures combine useful plants in ways that minimize competition, create additive yields, and minimize the gardener’s work and outside inputs (e.g., water, fertilizer). Polyculture design is the most interesting and challenging part of the garden design process. Building off the Friday evening lecture (above), this one-day workshop explores the specific ecological theories and practical design processes behind polyculture design through exercises and games. Participants will observe, evaluate, and redesign a perennial polyculture at the Boston Nature Center Food Forest during class.