Significantly increase productivity and reduce inputs.
Let us help you design a highly productive system that
builds soil and can withstand the challenges of excessive wind, rain or drought.
In this video an orchardist transitions 5 Hectares to a food forest
and describes its multiple benefits.
Miracle Farms is a members-only u-pick permaculture orchard. With 100 cultivars of apples, 16 cvs of pear, 3 cvs of plums and 6 cvs of cherry on 5 hectares (12 acres) our goal is to restore the Wow factor to foods. We grow small fruit (raspberry, strawberry, red and black currant, gooseberry and haskap), herbs, flowers, annual and perennial vegetables among the trees. In the grassy lanes we raise chickens, turkey, guinea fowl, ducks and geese in mobile pens.
Zoom out – so that the scale in the bottom left hand corner is 500m/2000ft.
Ensure the map view is set to map rather than satellite.
Copy the link.
TWO – go to this form and paste in the link from the Google Map, then enter the basic details about the food forest, indicating which information you’re happy to be shared.
You can repeat the process as many times as you like to add more.
Note: We are very conscious of privacy issues, so you are of course you can choose to leave out the street address and give only the suburb for example. If you’re involved in more than one project then please send in multiple entries.
Many more Food Forests are likely to spring up around New Zealand as a new tertiary qualification shows how to produce food in ways which mimic forest eco-systems. Food Forests are a time honoured method of growing food in intentionally designed, highly productive, multi layered systems of mostly perennial plants.
Course facilitator James Samuel says Food Forest Design is being recognised as a valuable skill for those interested in being part of the transition to sustainable systems of food production.
“As well as learning the practical skills and knowledge behind the establishment of a food forest, course participants will connect with a lively and growing Food Forest community of practice. They will learn relevant project management skills and the use of online tools to enhance and support collaboration.”
The Food Forest Design qualification is offered as a Level 5 Certificate in Sustainable Practice. A 19 week course, it is offered through 4 block courses, with facilitated on-line learning in between. There will be two intakes in 2014, so people can attend in either the North Island (February to June) or the South (July to November), and the benefits of joining a Food Forest community of practice will continue long after the course itself has finished according to Mr Samuel.
Mr Samuel and Jon Foote will lead the course bringing in expert permaculture designers such as, Kay Baxter, Robina McCurdy, Andy Cambeis and others, who have valuable experience and knowledge in Food Forest Design.
“We are delighted to have this course ready to go. We’ve worked through barriers to Food Forest implementation, tested governance systems and see an abundance of opportunity working with private land-owners, farmers, local government and communities.
“This course offers a robust academic approach combined with practical knowledge and hands on application. Combining ancient techniques with today’s knowledge and modern technology, we believe we’ve created something that is future focused, specific and incredibly relevant as we transition to a post-carbon world.”
The poster will give you all the details, but nothing can prepare you for the energy of this woman if you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Robina McCurdy. Her biography would make quite a book! If you have an interest in creating your own backyard food forest, a community food forest on some public land, or something on a larger scale, and if want to understand something of the essential principles, here’s a workshop to give you an introduction.
Susi had been saying for months, let’s get you in to talk about Food Forests at Oxfam, so when they were looking for someone to help launch GROW week, I was delighted, and we thought it would be fun to make it the bigger conversation that includes projects like Ooooby, something Pete Russell and I spent some time on together in the early days before I moved onto other things.
I edited my 17 min talk, down to a 5min focus on food forests:
If you’re really keen you can watch/listen to the whole evening here, thanks to Jason from Oxfam, who filmed and uploaded it.
I just like this story. This shows a different approach to growing food on public land, that started out Guerrilla-style and ended up getting full support from their local council.
Here’s the response from council letter they wrote – for the council.
(I’ve modified it slightly for the Waiheke context)
1. Council applauds the efforts of this community group to work towards food security on Waiheke.
2. Council recognises the need for community-led organic food systems to attend to the health crisis that nutrition-low, carcinogenic-high fast food and supermarket food has delivered to its residents.
3. Council recognises the social merits of such a project, and encourages other community groups to work together to prepare for worsening climate change and energy descent scenarios, and therefore further rising food and energy prices.
4. Council recognises that we are all caretakers and guardians for the land that was here before we arrived and will be here long after we are gone.
5. Council is thrilled its community has taken over the maintenance of this site, and that council workers no longer have to use polluting resources to maintain it.
6. Council would be happy to work with this community group to help them relocate to another site for community food production if the old library building needs to expand or some other public building of merit, such as a sustainability resource centre, needs to be built on this site.
7. Council recognises that although this mode of community participation is different to its own form, it nonetheless values such independent, creative and positive responses from its residents.
8. Council recognises that its own processes for change are heavily bureaucratic making positive change such as this impossibly slow, and that residents will naturally move faster working in small groups attending to the fast pace of global financial, climatic and ecological crises.
The first New Zealand Food Forest Hui, held in Auckland last week was a high energy and over-subscribed event (we had sold out and had people in a waiting list). Here are some of the highlights and outcomes. If you missed it, stay in touch, there’s sure to be another!
Building community like a forest
While we spoke at the Hui, about food forests and forest gardens, we also modelled living like a forest – each playing our part in an intricate eco-system of exchanges.
Our forest layers were represented by age, stature, flexibility, stores of knowledge, experience, wisdom and more.
We celebrated what is, embraced the possibilities of what could be and committed to practical actions to support the vision.
Imagine food forest projects popping up all over the country, on public land, on private land, for community benefit, for individual food security and well-being, and for commercial gain. We were united around this vision of building New Zealand’s food self-reliance through resilient, multi-layered, mostly perennial food systems, all the while remaining grounded and caring for each other.
We did it!
Lots of connections were made, and now we’ve begun communicating through the fungal networks, exchanging information and collaborating on a diverse range of projects.
I sense that at the next gathering we will be celebrating learnings that have taken place and an abundance of new projects across the country. I imagine a bigger gathering, more song, more music – and more time to ‘be’.
Human Centred Design
“Human-centered design can be characterised as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires designers to analyse and foresee how users are likely to use a product or service, but also to test the validity of their assumptions with regard to user behaviour in real world tests with actual users.”
We were fortunate to have Sandra Otto and Lucia Die-Gil facilitate this Human-Centred Design (HCD) process with us over the three days of the Hui.
On Friday 10 Council and Parks people joined us for a presentation and dialogue about growing food in public spaces. We dived deeper over a 2-hour session and I thought the roof was going to lift off the building, with the energy in the room!
Then on Saturday, a day set aside for us to co-create the agenda, we used much of what we’d learnt about this design approach, and applied it in focus groups around different aspects of evolving and manifesting the vision of plenty, though forests of food.
Jon Foote spoke about water management and his recent focus on the Rescape Resilience Education Centre land in Dunedin, and raised the bar on people’s understanding of different approaches and techniques. What Jon has achieved in a short space of time on his own land was impressive.
Gary Williams (www.waterscape.co.nz), offered a detailed description of the design process he and a team have gone through, as they tackle a 20 Hectare commercial food forest project in the Wairerapa. The project is moving forward and Gary’s presentation left us all heartened with the possibility for large-scale food forest systems.
Robina McCurdy spoke about the Localising Food Project run by Earthcare Education, and shared some of the abundant and beautifully edited video content she and her team are creating to show what is already happening up and down the country.
Launch of NZQA Qualification - Food Forest Design
Through a collaboration between Food Forest NZ and Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable Practice, we were able to launch a new NZQA approved Level 5 Certificate course.
This is for people wanting to learn more about food forest design and implementation, and wanting to develop the skills for effective project management of food forest projects.
This will begin next year and run from February to June in the North Island, and July to Nov in the South. If you enrol, you will design and begin implementing a food forest project as part of the course.
Jon Foote and James Samuel are working to lay down the schedule now. More details coming soon, but if you are interested, be sure to email James to register your interest: firstname.lastname@example.org – we are looking at running the first course in Feb with a maximum of 10 people.
If you want to stay connected with what’s happening in Aotearoa, in the Food Forest space, there are a few ways to do so:
Newsletters – periodic mailings of Food Forest news. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter (see top right of this website), if you want to stay in touch as Food Forest NZ expands and grows.
A Facebook Group was setup in advance of the Hui for people who registered. Here’s a sampling of the conversations that have been going on there since the Hui. If you are not sure whether to join or use Facebook, let me know your questions. I know there are some downsides, but there are ways to manage it and reduce the ‘noise’ which it can generate, so you can take advantage of what it has to offer.
I might even run a webinar on this subject if enough people are interested.
So many thank-you’s
Jo, Bryan, Lisa, Andy and everybody at Awhi Farm, for playing a vital role and with such style and grace. Huge appreciation for being there from the start, and for all the food and the work you did to gather it, prepare it, bless it, and then share it with us. Thank you Fredd for being so willing to help out from the start, and then for filming the event. To Robina for jumping in and drawing from your incredible kete of facilitation processes when needed.
Jo Venables, your willingness to jump in and take care of so many last minute details was invaluable – thank you!
Thank you to the Rawene Centre for the hire of your crockery and cutlery, and Jo and Stephen for getting it and returning it. For Jo’s partner Tom for lending us the sound system for the videos and music.
To the Auckland Council for not only paying for the venue, but for being present in the form of the 10 Council and Parks people who came for two hours on Friday to hear what it was all about, and engage with us in a design-thinking process.
Thank you to Sandra and Lucia for the extensive preparation and then facilitation at the event. Thank you for your attentiveness to everyone’s needs and to keeping the schedule moving. I know it was a rush, but the feedback was clear: everyone took a lot of value from it.
Thank you to everyone who came. You contributed time, energy and money which allowed me to focus on it and be paid for the for several weeks of intense work, holding it for all that it might yield. To see you leave carrying such awesome intentions for yourselves, the country and the world, was fulfilment for me – beyond what I had hoped for.