Creating A Forest Garden #5 2016 *Intense*


*These courses are currently on hold* but please feel free to express an interest in future courses by contacting us via our website. This is an example of a previously run course.


Course Information

Imagine growing your own apples, berries, rhubarb and strawberries. Or artichokes, hops, rocket and thyme. By using plants with different heights, you'd be using all the space in your garden. AND with a single blitz of planting, you'd enjoy a rolling harvest throughout the year, every year. Come and learn about forest gardening - a no-dig approach that's kind to wildlife and to your back. Creating A Forest Garden is for people who are truly passionate about plants, especially the edible ones. You can even gain level two qualifications worth 16 credits - a nationally recognised Award in Horticulture and a unit 'Creating A Forest Garden'.

What you'll learn from the course

  • a thorough understanding of forest gardening
  • how to design and maintain forest gardens
  • how to recognise more than 50 plants - including learning their botanical names
  • how to care for, propagate and eat these plants
  • the science behind soil, fertility and plant nutrition
  • why forest gardens are part of our food production future

NB You will be expected to design a real or imaginary forest garden as part of the course.

The Schedule

  • Pre-course reading and essay written by 29th March. (details just below)
  • Friday 1st April - optional but highly recommended pre-course 'meet the plants'.
  • WEEK ONE: Monday 4th to Friday 8th April 2016, 9am to 4pm, 1.5 hrs directed reading or study at the end of each day.
  • Gap of seven weeks to complete your own site survey and design.
  • Friday 20th, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May (12noon-2pm). You must attend at least one of these three tutorials.
  • WEEK TWO: Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June.
  • Final design submitted by 17th June 2016.

Important to know

Location: The training takes place at Edible Landscapes London in Finsbury Park and at a private address in the Finsbury Park area.

Cost: £500 / £200 concessions (pay by 18th March) and an additional £98.50 if you wish to be marked, assessed and accredited, which is what Certa charges per learner.

Pre-course reading: Martin Crawford's book 'Creating A Forest Garden' up to page 107. You will be given the first list of botanical names to memorise.

Pre-course essay: "Research peak oil and climate change and write a summary. Outline the impact of climate change and peak oil on food security." (500-2000 words) Past experience has shown that gaining familiarity with these ideas can be a challenge. Your prose style is not important here, you just need to show you understand the key concepts. You could even do it as a fairly detailed mind map. Deadline for this is 29th March.

More information: Phone 07733 330 379 during the day.

Feedback from past students

“practical information about soil and plants, understanding the rationale behind it (climate change, sustainability) and how to do essential procedures: grafting, layering, also plant names and design”

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Such an amazing, enriching experience. This is the kind of course I've been searching for for years and it doesn't exist anywhere else, so it's very exciting and very special! Getting a horticultural qualification may open up new employment opportunities eventually and it was so nice that this was available in my local community and very affordable."

"A knowledge about forest gardening – yes! Learning about more edible perennial plants and trees, how to identify them and what to do with them – yes!"

“It has been fantastic! Jo has been a wonderful course leader. I have loved all the places we've visited and being at ELL. It's been great to meet such a lovely group of people”

“A lot of extremely useful and specific detail, passionate and careful and enthused teaching and facilitation and excellent resources and knowledge-sharing.”



Definition of PEAK OIL

FOOD SECURITY Caroline Lucas on peak oil and food security

CLIMATE CHANGE AND FOOD SECURITY Met Office reader-friendly report on climate change and food security *** George Monbiot linking UK flood damage to maize production  *** Guardian article on impact of climate change on food security

FOOD PRODUCTION film 'Our Daily Bread' (1.09 GB) (thanks Laura)

BIOMIMICRY food production, forest gardens, perennial grains (thanks Laura)

ECOSYSTEMS paper on ecosystems and stability (thanks Laura)

TAXONOMY What's the difference between a cultivar and hybrid?

TAXONOMY & PLANT ID Online plant ID name flash cards (thanks Nick & Damian)

List of plants we cover and notes (thanks Alex)

DESIGN PROCESS photos of the SADIM process from Claire White

BOTANY UK seed germination toolbox and the medicinal plants names services. What incredible resources!

INDOOR PLANTS recommended plants: 1) Areca palm, 2) Mother-in-Law's Tongue 3) money plant and TED talk Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air (thanks Ilka)

MEDITERRANEAN DESIGN Link to our nascent forest garden project in Spain.

SOIL from the last CAFG course - a video Lewis's talk about nutrients in soil  (thanks Jerome)

SOIL Life in the soil film - in Spanish.

SOIL AND PLANT CHOICES Dynamic accumulators (thanks Patrick)

SOIL AND WATER including a wonderful demonstration of the closed loop system of water (thanks Eugenia)

Plantastic on Ted talks (thanks Maia)

FOOD PRESERVATION Lactofermentation article

And of course there's Plants for a Future Database, the Agroforestry Research Trust and plenty more....

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