Victoria Summer Food Forestry with Richard Walker
"This course completely exceeded my information expectations in every way."
Todd Gesshe - Cowichan Valley
Hello and welcome,
Maybe you've heard of food forests...
Maybe you've read the recent UN report recognizing perennials as essential in creating sustainable food sources...
Or maybe you realized what many gardeners, farmers and people around have discovered...
Food Forest gardening provides food, fiber, fuel and medicine with lower maintenance and cost over time.
Whatever you've heard, food forest gardening is a method of gardening based on natural forest systems that, when mature, need little to no fertilizing, watering or maintenance.
"Thanks for the great first experience. I look forward to taking more PBC courses."
Jason Barber - Natural Builder - Shawnigan Lake, BC
Poppy-cock you say?
Not at all! And here's the person to show you.
Richard Walker comes with over 25 years of experience as a food forester, landscape designer, herbalist and instructor. In 1984 he started one of Canada'a first food forests in Grand Forks, BC. During that time Dragon's Eye Nursery was born from his assembled food forest.
What really adds to Richard’s credibility is that he lives as he teaches. He lives simply, creatively using his skills to bring food from the soil to the table and in doing so teaches us how food and plants create a culture of true sustainability, or in his own words “gardening for one thousand years”.
Last year Richard presented two sold-out workshops on Vancouver Island, this year his last workshop sold out in 5 days. And we still have a waiting list from all three courses.
After informing a friend she asked, "Okay so do I have to start saving now? It's going to be like $450, right?"
Nope. Not even close. Half that!
Saturday June 16 & Sunday June 17, 2012, 8am-5pm both days.
OPTIONAL SATURDAY EVENING:
GROUP DINNER AND FOOD FOREST TOUR with GEOFF JOHNSON!
Fernwood Community Centre
Free parking is available on both sides of the street in front of the community centre. There is also free parking on Pembroke St on the side next to William Stevenson Park. There are a couple parking lots on Gladstone Avenue that are connected to Victoria High School. These may be free in the evening and could also be used.
Early Bird (really does get the worm...)
$225 + HST before February 11, 2012
$250 + HST after February 11, 2012
Payment can be made in full using PayPal. Click on the Add to Cart button below or contact us for alternative payment methods. If you have to cancel there is a non-refundable $50 fee for this workshop.
Click here to learn more about our refund policy.
Space is limited, and the last workshop sold out in 5 days, so please register early.
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"Organized, jam/packed, weekend with good balance of information and exploration--well facilitated and teachers well sourced"
Pollen Heath - Builder - Gabriola Island, BC
Still need more convincing?
Here's a few reasons why taking this course will be the course to add to your planting skills and life....
1 - Course Instructor, Richard Walker
Richard started as an organic farmer in Alberta. Not an easy task in the early 70's in conservative Alberta. He applied his organic farming skills to 3 acres of bare horse pasture where 25 years later stood a lush self-sustaining forest garden. With over 400 nut trees, seven stories of food, fiber, fuel and medicinal bearing perennial plants and vines, this is a, if not the, premier food forest in Canada.
Having converted a degraded piece of land into an abundant mix of rare, unique nut, fruit and medicinal plants from all over the world, he is one of Canada's most experienced food foresters. We are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to learn from Richard. He's a practicing gardener, plant breeder and herbalist.
His food forest was and is so successful that as students we can save years of trial and error by learning from him. This course attracts some of the leaders in the fields of permaculture, organic gardening, food forestry, urban homesteading and sustainability. The wealth of knowledge brought by the course participants will add to this unique opportunity to learn, share and network with others involved with regenerative land care.
"Richard gives information for our canadian climate, when he showed pictures of his food forest in the snow, I knew I was in the right course. Richards knowledge of food forestry was everything I was hoping for - incredible.
If you are going to be establishing a food forest of any size, I would highly recommend spending some time with Richard Walker."
Bruce Cayford - Electronics Technician - Walkerton, ONT
2 - Dragon's Eye Nursery
If Richard made a small half back-lot food forest with 10 years of succession and success that would be something (yea Geoff Johnson!)... but he accomplished a little more than that. In 25 years he experimented and succeed in creating not only a self-sustaining food forest but also two businesses that were supported by that forest, Dragon's Eye Nursery and his own herbal dispensary.
Here's a real world example of permaculture, organic gardening and food forestry not only producing food for the assembler but also viable income. Next time someone tells you that making a living at growing plants is only for large factory farms and Monsanto (first ask them to never say the M word again) and then tell them the story of Richard Walker.
You of course will be able to tell them the full story because you'll have taken the course... if there's space left. :)
3 - Bio-Regionally Specific.
So you've liked what you've read thus far but now you’re thinking, like most prospective permaculture students, "But Richard's from interior BC, it's a desert out there, he won't have any good suggestions for Vancouver Island."
Oh contraire dear reader, in a recent workshop Richard demonstrated his experience by not only helping interior BC food foresters, but also Albertan (both Edmonton and Calgary region), northern Saskatchewan and drum roll please.... Vancouver Island and mainland BC food foresters as well.
Like permaculture, the principles that Richard instructs are applicable to all regions. His $100 tips for 100 years of gardening help extend growing seasons by getting fruit and nut trees to bear in half the regular time, are simply incredible.
4 - Student Feedback
It's one thing for me to tell you why Richard's workshop is worth every single penny but it's quite another to hear it from student of his past Workshops:
"After the first hour I felt as though I not only got my money's worth, I felt like I had won the lottery" - Erin Rafuse
GAIA or Permaculture Graduates?
If you've taken any of Gaia College's courses or a Permaculture Design Certificate, do not be dissuaded by the overlap of some of the course topics (i.e. grafting, compost tea, and other topics that you may have covered). Richard's sheer amount of knowledge and experience as well as his focus on medicinal plant use and quick and simple tincture creation will add to your skills and confidence to assemble your own food forest.
Not to mention another instructor's point of view is invaluable to avoid inbreeding of habits and thought patterns.
"The highlight for me was learning how to graft trees, plant propagation and the importance of understanding the stratification of seeds for certain plant species."
Jill Waldron - Artist - Victoria, BC
Why is food forestry a timely and necessary tool for food sovereignty?
We live on an island. The majority of our food comes primarily via ferry. On average Vancouver Island has between 3-5 days supply of food, at normal consumption rates. With increasing oil prices are food prices going up or down?
Over 40 years ago the island produced 60% of it's own food. Today that percentage of food self-sufficiency is down to around 10%. Creating viable food production techniques that do not require endless inputs of fertilizers, water, mulch, maintenance and financial support isn't just a good idea, it's a necessity!
Do you think we need more food production on the island?
Yea, me too.
If only to be less dependant on the ferry system.
So why chose to spend two days in June learning about food forestry?
1. It will give you the design tools and plant lists to begin assembling your own food forest.
2. An experienced instructor with over a quarter century of creating productive forests.
3. Everything you need to know to start making your own tinctures with the least amount of time and effort.
4. Time to ask Richard about starting your own business based on permaculture, organic gardening and food forestry. Permaculture that pays!
5. Network with fellow students and leaders in the fields of organic landcare and permaculture.
6. Be part of truly local positive action-based solutions that are fruitful (pun most definitely intended).
I hope to see you in class and please do register soon. This workshop sold out in 5 days last fall, and we have a waiting list from last year and that workhsop.
There's a lot of interest in the course. It's gonna be great. Looking forward to seeing you in class.
Javan "Hey look a trilogy of workshops!" Bernakevitch
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