Courses/WorkshopsFood ForestsFood Plants - PerennialTrees

Edible Forest Gardens Tasting Workshop

With Eric Toensmeier, Jonathan Bates and Steve Breyer

October 19-20, 2012, Holyoke & Southampton, Massachusetts USA

The best way to learn about food forests is by eating your way through mature examples during peak fruit and nut season. Details can come later. Come eat delights like persimmon, paw paw, Asian pear, hardy kiwifruit, raspberry, fall strawberries, cucumber berry, chestnut, butternut, hardy almond, Korean pine nut, and so much more.

Edible forest gardens mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems while producing food and other products, with an emphasis on low-maintenance perennial crops. Design and plant selection help provide fertility, control of weeds and pests, and more. Come for an introduction to this fascinating and delicious approach to food production.

  • Sample the season’s harvest of chestnuts, walnuts, hazels, kiwis, persimmons, paw paws and more.
  • Tour the garden used as the case study in Edible Forest Gardens Volume II with its designer-managers.
  • Visit Tripple Brook Farm, with over 600 low-maintenance fruits, nuts, bamboos, edible ground covers, and hundreds of useful species from around the world and our own Northeast USA bio region. Their food forest is almost thirty years old.

Please visit our events page to learn more and to register. If you sign up before August 31 you can save $50!


Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Perennial Vegetables and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. He has studied permaculture and useful plants for over twenty years.

Jonathan Bates, founder of Food Forest Farm and, co-designed and co-manages the Holyoke Edible Forest Garden with Eric Toensmeier. This example of an intensively managed forest garden has inspired hundreds of visitors.

Tripple Brook Farm has one of the nation’s finest collections of useful plants, with over 1,200 species on site. Founder Steve Breyer
has decades of experience growing low-maintenance perennial food crops.

Eric Toensmeier

Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. He is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, a Senior Biosequestration Fellow with Project Drawdown, and an international trainer. Eric presents in English, Spanish, and botanical Latin throughout the Americas and beyond. He has studied useful perennial plants and their roles in agroforestry systems for over two decades. Eric has owned a seed company, managed an urban farm that leased parcels to Hispanic and refugee growers, and provided planning and business trainings to farmers. He is the author of The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agricultural Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security released in February 2016.


  1. How do you prevent vermin from turning the food forest into their supermarket? There were two types of trees in the first garden in Eden according to the Genesis account – what was pleasing to the eyes and what was good for food. Is there a way to rat-proof your garden? I’d be grateful for ideas.

  2. What eats rats where you live? For us, mice and squirrels are the problem. The cats in the neighborhood take care of the mice and we trap the squirrels. Dogs like jack russell terriers were bred to catch and kill rats even down in their holes, trained ferrets can do this too.

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