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! "Edible Landscapes", a documentary about food forests

 
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Hi Permies! My name is Thomas, I am a forest gardener and filmmaker from Brittany, France.

The short film I did for National Geographic in 2018 about food forests had over 445 000 views on Youtube, and I received amazing support globally from gardeners, schoolteachers, students and environmental organizations. This clearly demonstrates that there is a deep interest in food forests, also known as forest gardens, and that a feature documentary film would be the most effective way of sharing more detailed information with a global audience.



I am now working on « Edible Landscapes, The Food Forest Revolution », a full-length documentary film aiming to inspire people all over the world to learn about and plant food forests. Being the most sustainable way to grow our food in the context of climate change and increasing population, food forests also deeply reconnect us with nature, build resilient human communities and combine food production with nature conservation.

Why I am making this film

Over the past few years, many forest gardens have been planted in private gardens, schoolyards, farms and even on rooftops. This film aims to demonstrate the potential of forest gardens in these different situations, highlight the main actors of this international movement and accelerate its development.

I have been fascinated by forest gardens for about 5 years now. Here is a short video I made to tell you a little more about why I'm making this film:


What this new film will be about

One of the aspects of food forests I want to put forward in the film is their value as an educational tool.

We are documenting the design and planting of a food forest in a french secondary school, where it will be used to teach kids about:

- Measurement techniques with their Math teacher in order to space the plants.
- The diet of indigenous people of tropical areas who rely on traditional forest gardens, with their Geography teacher.
- Soil life, carbon sequestration and more with their Science teacher.
- Classic literature that explored the themes of forests and trees, with their French teacher.
- Introduction to new foods with the school cafeteria's chef (I had chinese yam cake with them!).
- Introduction to basketry to make sun shelters for young plants.



Among the other locations we’ll be shooting in during the upcoming months are: an international symposium about forest gardens where experts from around the globe will gather in the UK to share experience, an ancient natural forest in France, a 20 hectare commercial food forest supported by the government in Holland, a small forest garden on top of a roof in the UK, a pioneering permaculture farm that deeply believes in food forest systems in Le Bec Hellouin, France.


How about those of you who have a forest garden or are interested in creating one?
What sparked your interest and what sort of objectives do you have with it?


Here is the ongoing crowdfunding campaign for this new film: https://www.ulule.com/edible-landscapes-food-forest-documentary/

Your support would be greatly useful and appreciated!

Thank you!
Thomas
 
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Thanks for sharing on forest gardening @Thomas Regnault
Forest gardening is new to me but I'm very interested to do more with it.
I will share your video and do hope funding will come in to help you further your amazing work
 
Thomas Regnault
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Cindy Fox wrote:Thanks for sharing on forest gardening @Thomas Regnault
Forest gardening is new to me but I'm very interested to do more with it.
I will share your video and do hope funding will come in to help you further your amazing work



Thank you very much Cindy! I have found the learning process very intuitive, fun and rewarding, I hope you will have the same experience, good luck with it!!
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Hi Thomas. I start planting the first aspects of my forest garden this year. I was attracted to the idea as a way of increasing our resilience and ability to fend for ourselves. When I realised this could be combined with low impact gardening that supports uk wildlife and actually increases soil fertility I was sold! My eventual objective with it is to leave a self supporting ecosystem for others to use and enjoy long after I’m gone.
I will check out your fundraiser.
Best wishes, Helen
 
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We need to get global society to learn & apply this knowledge ASAP & it will be an uphill struggle against vested interests.
I hope my donation help will get the message out.  Bon Chance Thomas
 
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I'm new here - but seeing a lot of great posts! I'm looking for some insights that might help with my nearly 5 year old food forest. It looks horrible! The basics are that I am in Illinois (about 45 miles North of St. Louis, Missouri) I installed swales (and berms). Two are 100' each and are blueberry and raspberry. The main swale is 440' long and is various fruit and hazelnut trees, along with support trees, with some boisen berries and blackberries near the overflow of the swale berm. My main problem is with trees dying and or just barely hanging on to life. I have very few that are still surviving from the original planting, NONE on the main swale berm are thriving! I have thrown THOUSANDS of $$ at this project and am at wit's end. I'll be glad to get "into the weeds" with details if there is anyone out there willing to help?
 
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Hello Thomas !

If you want to travel, this might be a great project to follow. I am in the process of buying land now in the beautiful island of Skiathos, in Greece. Planting a food forest is a part of our projects, you are welcome to come whenever you want :)

Good luck with your crowdfunding !
 
pollinator
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Hello Thomas. Food forests/forest gardens are one of my favorite aspects of permaculture and what brought me into it. I'll be happy to contribute, and wish you the best of luck with the fundraising.
 
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Thank you for letting me know about this. It's nice to help fund these kind of projects every now and then. Maybe my place will be a forest garden someday. I wonder how he keeps the farmers chemical drift off his trees?
 
master gardener
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Dana Martin wrote:Maybe my place will be a forest garden someday.



Do it Dana!  Do it!!!
 
Greg Martin
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Location: Maine, zone 5
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Hi Thomas, I have a young forest garden which I adore and love spending time in (see link in my signature line).  I was inspired by a talk I went to by Dave Jacke 15 or so years ago.  He had us close our eyes and imagine walking through an amazing food forest that he described.  I remember that talk quite well.  It made me lay down the cash for his 2 forest garden books, which I devoured.  I just added support to your project in the hopes that others will be as inspired by it as I was from Dave's talk.  Also, I can't wait to watch it myself!  Always looking for boosts of inspiration.
 
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Hi Thomas,

I finished my undergraduate thesis on temperate forest gardening this past May, and I was ecstatic when I saw your video posted on National Geographic's website while I was finishing my project!

Dave Jacke's Edible Forest Gardens book is what initially sparked my interest in food forests. My professor pointed me towards the book after I went to a conference where I was introduced to the concept of agroforestry, and took an interest in incorporating woody perennials into agriculture. I look forward to forest gardening again someday when I have my own piece of property!

I'm so excited to hear you're making a full-length documentary, and I look forward to watching it! This project looks like a dream!

Unfortunately, I can't offer much in the way of money (college is very expensive here in the U.S.) but if you ever need other kinds of support with making this project a reality I'd love to see if I can help!
 
Thomas Regnault
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Ilektra Kou wrote:Hello Thomas !

If you want to travel, this might be a great project to follow. I am in the process of buying land now in the beautiful island of Skiathos, in Greece. Planting a food forest is a part of our projects, you are welcome to come whenever you want :)

Good luck with your crowdfunding !



Let's definitely keep in touch and hopefully I'll visit you one day. Please tell me you're gonna plant tons of carobs! :)
 
Thomas Regnault
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Greg Martin wrote:Hi Thomas, I have a young forest garden which I adore and love spending time in (see link in my signature line).  I was inspired by a talk I went to by Dave Jacke 15 or so years ago.  He had us close our eyes and imagine walking through an amazing food forest that he described.  I remember that talk quite well.  It made me lay down the cash for his 2 forest garden books, which I devoured.  I just added support to your project in the hopes that others will be as inspired by it as I was from Dave's talk.  Also, I can't wait to watch it myself!  Always looking for boosts of inspiration.



Thanks very much for the message Greg! As you've seen Dave is in the list of speakers so I'll definitely ask him to tell me about this!
 
Thomas Regnault
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Kristen Thompson wrote:Hi Thomas,

I finished my undergraduate thesis on temperate forest gardening this past May, and I was ecstatic when I saw your video posted on National Geographic's website while I was finishing my project!

Dave Jacke's Edible Forest Gardens book is what initially sparked my interest in food forests. My professor pointed me towards the book after I went to a conference where I was introduced to the concept of agroforestry, and took an interest in incorporating woody perennials into agriculture. I look forward to forest gardening again someday when I have my own piece of property!

I'm so excited to hear you're making a full-length documentary, and I look forward to watching it! This project looks like a dream!

Unfortunately, I can't offer much in the way of money (college is very expensive here in the U.S.) but if you ever need other kinds of support with making this project a reality I'd love to see if I can help!



Hi Kristen! A thesis about temperate forest gardening, how interesting! Could we talk about this on skype soon?
 
Thomas Regnault
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Dana Martin wrote:Thank you for letting me know about this. It's nice to help fund these kind of projects every now and then. Maybe my place will be a forest garden someday. I wonder how he keeps the farmers chemical drift off his trees?



As Greg said: Do it Dana!!
As for protecting plants from chemical drifts, there's no perfect answer really but a dense multi-layered structure is always going to protect at least some of the plants.
 
Kristen Thompson
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Thomas Regnault wrote:
Hi Kristen! A thesis about temperate forest gardening, how interesting! Could we talk about this on skype soon?



Hi Thomas! Thank you for your interest! I'd be happy to talk further! Feel free to send me a "Purple Mooseage" so we can coordinate about a time to talk!
 
pollinator
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Kent Heinke wrote:I'm new here - but seeing a lot of great posts! I'm looking for some insights that might help with my nearly 5 year old food forest. It looks horrible! The basics are that I am in Illinois (about 45 miles North of St. Louis, Missouri) I installed swales (and berms). Two are 100' each and are blueberry and raspberry. The main swale is 440' long and is various fruit and hazelnut trees, along with support trees, with some boisen berries and blackberries near the overflow of the swale berm. My main problem is with trees dying and or just barely hanging on to life. I have very few that are still surviving from the original planting, NONE on the main swale berm are thriving! I have thrown THOUSANDS of $$ at this project and am at wit's end. I'll be glad to get "into the weeds" with details if there is anyone out there willing to help?



Hi Kent,

I'm sad to hear you're having troubles with your food forest. Maybe it would be a good idea to make a dedicated thread about your problems, so others might be able to help you.
Posting about the issues in this thread might lead to your question being buried, and you not receiving any help. Bets of luck, and I hope some of the knowledgeable people on here can help you out!
 
Thomas Regnault
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Kristen Thompson wrote:

Thomas Regnault wrote:
Hi Kristen! A thesis about temperate forest gardening, how interesting! Could we talk about this on skype soon?



Hi Thomas! Thank you for your interest! I'd be happy to talk further! Feel free to send me a "Purple Mooseage" so we can coordinate about a time to talk!



Hey Kristen!
I just sent you a mooseage ;)
Talk soon!
Thomas
 
Dana Martin
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Thomas Regnault wrote:

Dana Martin wrote:Thank you for letting me know about this. It's nice to help fund these kind of projects every now and then. Maybe my place will be a forest garden someday. I wonder how he keeps the farmers chemical drift off his trees?



As Greg said: Do it Dana!!
As for protecting plants from chemical drifts, there's no perfect answer really but a dense multi-layered structure is always going to protect at least some of the plants.



Thanks Greg!
Like everyone else on this form It will be a struggle. I have extremely poor soil, little time and the rainfall the last 5 years have been lacking. If a guy could just afford to stay at home. ;)
 
Greg Martin
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Dana Martin wrote:
Thanks Greg!
Like everyone else on this form It will be a struggle. I have extremely poor soil, little time and the rainfall the last 5 years have been lacking. If a guy could just afford to stay at home. ;)


Last time I was out in North Dakota I foraged some really tasty crab apples, buffalo berries and sea berries.  Maybe some of those could be good pioneers to start your forest garden with?

I hear you on the afford to stay home front Dana!  My mantra is "many littles make a lot".
 
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