Permaculture Fundamentals: Food Forest Design and Water Harvesting


Learn practical techniques to grow food in your backyard, capture rainwater, and improve your property.

From 1 pm until 4 pm

$40 - $80 sliding scale (explanation below)

Explore two essential permaculture concepts in one afternoon with Michael Judd, author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist! Discover how to plant a “food forest” and grow delicious organic food in your own backyard (with hardly any maintenance), then learn how to capture, store, and utilize rainwater (which will enhance your property and save you money).

A food forest (or “edible forest garden”) is a low-maintenance gardening technique that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes woodland species with edible trees, shrubs, perennial vegetables, herbs, vines, and annuals. Designed correctly, a food forest is sustainable, resilient, builds healthy soil, sequesters carbon, stores rainwater, and provides habitat for wildlife--all while producing a cornucopia of food for you and your family! This class will give you hands-on practice designing and setting up a food forest with easy-to-grow fruits so you can establish a food forest in your own backyard.

Water harvesting involves a variety of strategies to manage and enhance the water resources on your land--leading to healthier plants and lower water bills. Understanding and implementing just a few simple water harvesting techniques such as swales on contour, hugelkultur beds, and rain gardens can improve the way water moves through your yard and how effectively your plants are able to use it. Learn which designs best fit your land, how they are created, and how to make them look good.

Permaculture and edible landscape designer Michael Judd will provide a clear and simplified approach to food forestry and water harvesting in this workshop, which will be a combination of theory and hands-on practice. Whether you have a little patch of backyard or a huge property to work with, the principles you learn in this class will help make your land more diverse, productive, and ecologically friendly than ever before.

About the instructor: Michael Judd, author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist, first became interested in whole system design while living with Lacondon Mayans in southern Mexico along the Guatemalan border. There, he experienced the ancient design practices of the Mayans that ingeniously mimic nature's patterns to create functional landscapes. At about the same time he discovered a parallel design system from Australia, “permaculture,” which applies patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems to modern gardening and farming. In 2001 he created Project Bona Fide on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, using Mayan and permaculture principles to transform 26 acres into a haven of agricultural production and linked design systems that mimic nature's functions while meeting the needs of local economies and ecologies. Today Michael lives near Frederick, Maryland, where he and his wife are building a circular strawbale home as the centerpiece to an extensive landscape that will push landscape design to new levels.

WHAT IS A SLIDING SCALE? In order to make our classes available to a broad and diverse audience, we use a sliding scale payment model, which means YOU CHOOSE how much to pay, within a given range. Paying lower in the scale is like receiving a scholarship. Paying higher in the scale helps cover the true cost of the class. You can pay MORE than the high end of the scale: this “extra donation” helps make our sliding scale possible. Thank you for considering your situation and resources carefully as you make your decision!


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