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.
People who enrol in the 60 credit course delivered through Food Forest New Zealand and Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable Practice, will be guided through the process of designing and beginning to implement a food forest, at a scale and in a location of their choosing.
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.”