In this nine-day intensive course, you will dive deeply into the vision, theory, and practice of designing wholesome, dynamic, and resilient edible ecosystems. Dave Jacke and his teaching team will offer lectures, site walks, experiential classes, and design exercises to help you understand how the architecture, social structure, underground economics, and successional processes of natural forests apply to the design of edible ecosystems of all kinds.
You'll learn a variety of ecological design processes while designing a range of food-producing ecosystems and polyculture designs for an actual food forest at Heartwood. We'll also engage with issues of garden management, economics, and the deep paradigmatic shifts required to succeed at co-creating “HumaNatural” landscapes and cultures. You will leave inspired and empowered to design food forests at home for yourself and your friends, neighbors and clients.
Forest ecosystems exhibit many beneficial properties we humans would be wise to emulate in our culture, agriculture, and horticulture:
• they maintain, renew, fertilize, and propagate themselves without human inputs;
• they build, store, and conserve clean air, clean water, nutrients, soil quality, and biodiversity; and
• they exhibit stability, resilience, and adaptability.
These qualities emerge from the dynamics of the forest as a whole system, not from any one or more of the elements that comprise the forest alone. To design productive edible ecosystems that express these same qualities, we must understand forest structures, functions, patterns, and processes, and use this knowledge wisely.