Food Forest Intensive 2013: A Hands-On Course on the Cultivation of Edible Forest Gardens ← Spiral Ridge Permaculture

Food Forest Intensive 2013: A Hands-On Course on the Cultivation of Edible Forest Gardens

Loading Map....

Date(s) - Oct/Thu/2013 - Oct/Sun/2013


Spiral Ridge Permaculture


Tags food forests, forest gardens, permaculture

Food Forest Intensive 2013:  A Hands-On Course on the Cultivation of Edible Forest Gardens

 Food Forest Intensive:  Perennial Agro-Ecosystem Design and Installation


Food Forests, also called edible forest gardens and woodland farms, are perennial gardens full of useful plants, that are designed using permaculture and ecological principles.  They are meant to mimic self-sustaining forest ecosystems in that they are: diverse, layered, moisture retaining, low-maintenance, self-fertile, efficient, productive and comprised of species that mutually benefit one another.  Food forests are not limited to just edible species.  We can tailor the plantings to include medicinals, forage for animals, sources of fuel, fiber plants, nitrogen-fixing and mineral accumulating fertilizer plants, craft and building materials, species that attract beneficial insects and pollinators as well as aesthetically pleasing varieties.

Learn how to work with nature to create a Food Forest system in this 4 day intensive, as we take you through the design process and finish with hands-on implementation of a forest garden at Spiral Ridge.

earthday images


~ Study the benefits of gardening like the forest

~ Learn the 7 layers of a food forest

~ Find out how to design Guilds and Polycultures

~ Integrate animals into your perennial system

~ Design, Layout, and Planning of a food forest system

~ Identify species that are most useful

~ Unearth the secrets of the soil and how to feed the soil food web to keep your ecosystem healthy.

~ Participate in the establishment of a food forest in a new area

~ Study fertility cycles

~ How to plant to attract beneficials and pollinators

128___08~ Explore case studies of successful systems around the world

~ Roam and forage in our 2 year food forests, here on Spiral Ridge

~ Learn about propagation techniques and how to create a nursery to fill out your food forest




Instructors include:

IMG_2941Cliff Davis and Jennifer Albanese – Spiral Ridge Permaculture – Cliff Davis co-created Spiral Ridge Permaculture, LLC out of his passion to address cultural and ecological issues that demand real and lasting solutions.  His experience in the fields of permaculture, food forestry, organics, appropriate technology, natural building, and regenerative agriculture allow him to offer an integrative approach to land and culture repair.  Cliff has practiced and taught in temperate, tropical, sub-tropical, and dry land climates.  He empowers others to take a hands-on approach to design in his regular and advanced course offerings. His humor, straight-forward style and determination to make positive change, make him an engaging instructor, consultant and designer.  He  homesteads in middle TN with his family, researching applications that really work. For a detailed look at his work, training, and teaching experience, check out his resume. 

Jennifer has been an organic gardening student and practitioner for over 14 years.  She has a special interest in soil regeneration and re-mineralization to create ecosystem health and nutrient dense food.  She has a passion for local in-season and nose-to-tail cooking, ferments and traditional foods.  She is the co-owner of Spiral Ridge Permaculture business and homestead.  She home schools her three children in addition to working as a permaculture teacher and grant writer for The Farm School in Tennessee.

Jessie Smith – The Nectary Project – An environmental educator and event planner, Jessie Smith, founder of The Nectary Project, uses the principles of permaculture to create learning experiences which closely mimics natural learning. With more than 15 years experience working with children, non-profit organizations, and educational facilities, she happily brings her experience to central Tennessee to provide life-changing courses that empowers people to positively alter our future for generations. A former camp councilor and camp director, you can still find her connecting children with real food and nutrition as a teacher with The Farm School.

Special Guest Instructors – to be announced

“It is clear that the instructors have spent significant time with the material, both in study and practice.” – Tandy, PDC graduate

“…my hope is renewed by the integrity of the group that present this program.  A true inspiration for the future of the planet, our Mother.” – Dutch, PDC graduate

“Got a question about agriculture? Ask Cliffapedia”. – Daniel, PDC Graduate

Where will I stay?  What will I eat?

This course is held at Spiral Ridge Permaculture Homestead.  You can read more about it here.  Camp on our land, or arrange a stay at The Farm Community, our next door neighbors.

“Spiral Ridge is so inspirational! – Lindsay, course participant

We believe you should be well nourished during your stay so that you may fully participate.  For that reason, when you sign up for our course, we will provide three nutrient-dense and delicious, omnivorous meals a day, for free.  As much as possible, the food is sourced locally and is organic.  We include meats and vegetables from our homestead, probiotic rich fermented foods and we only use butter, olive oil, coconut oil or animal fats in our food.  No over processed, GMO laden junk.  We aim to embody the principles we teach about on every level.  Vegetarian?  Gluten Free?  No problem!  Let us know ahead of time and we will do our best to accomodate you (we used to be vegetarian, and we are largely gluten free ourselves).  If you have a very restrictive diet, you may need to bring some of your own food.

“OMG, food was fantastic!”  – Debbie, PDC graduateFood Day Slide Show

“Still waiting for the cookbook.”   – Dutch, PDC graduate    

The cooking was hearty, healthy,  full of flavor and satisfying.”  – Daniel, PDC graduate

Why Choose Spiral Ridge Permaculture?

  • We are not a faceless organization.  We are a family business and we are inviting you to our home to share in what we have learned.  We will be in a relaxed environment and our children will often times be present on the homestead.  We are family friendly, so inquire about family discounts.

  • We are living it!  Learn from a family and community that is actively putting the design process to work.  The course will have plenty of hands-on instruction with practical exercises and implementations.  We have been implementing food forests and learning from the process.

  • We were trained by Dave Jacke, author of the monumental two-volume book set, Edible ForestGardens, who we hosted for the Edible Ecosystems Emerging Course two years ago.  Last year, Dave returned and Spiral Ridge co-taught the Edible Forest Garden Course with him.  Dave Jacke is considered a leading authority on forest gardening and we are happy to call him a friend and mentor.

  • We have led several food forest practicums, one of which established the Enchanted Edible Food Forest at The Farm School, as part of an ongoing permaculture project we organize there.

  • We are well trained both in theory and practical application and we participate in continuing education.

  • Small class sizes

  • Appropriate for entry level and advanced permaculture students

  • Discounts when you sign up for more then one class


Early Bird Registration by 11:30 p.m. September 24, 2013 – $500

Price after September 24, 2013 – $550

Sign up early for the Food Forest Intensive and save $50.  Bring a friend, spouse or group and save.  Inquire about discounts.  This course is part of the fall 2013 Permaculture Homestead Series.  We are offering package deals here.

Minimum $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot.  Use the form below and pay via paypal, or by sending a check or money order to:

Spiral Ridge Permaculture

444 Walker Rd. Summertown, TN 38483

If you want to get the early registration discount, checks must by postmarked by the cutoff date.


Bookings are closed for this event.