Courses/Workshops

Workshop: Food Forests for Dry, High-Altitude, Cold Climates with Eric Toensmeier and Neil Bertrando (October 2013, Reno, NV, USA)


Yellowhorn (Xanthoceras sorbifolia) is a nut crop for cold, arid climates.

To register visit Urban Roots.

Day One: Home Scale

Saturday, October 5, 2013
9am -5pm

Edible Forest Gardens

Edible forest gardens are edible ecosystems that mimic the structure and function of natural forests, while producing food and other useful products. Trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and fungi work together in polycultures to create low-maintenance gardens or larger productive landscapes. Includes profiles of regionally appropriate species.

Perennial Polyculture Design

How can you design an edible garden that works like a healthy ecosystem? Learn simple guidelines, based on real experience, for designing “polycultures” of several species. Small-group design exercises will give participants the tools to create productive harvests and positive relationships between plants in your forest garden.

Day Two: Farm Scale

Sunday, October 6, 2013
9am – 5pm

The Commercial Food Forest: Diversified Perennial Crops with Integrated Livestock

Around the world, farmers are developing very environmentally friendly production systems based on a diversity of low-maintenance perennial crops, from trees to cacti and succulents. Farmers are learning how to integrate livestock to reduce labor and fuel inputs, assisting with pest control, weeding, and more. This workshop reviews a range of practices and case studies of successful operations.

Perennial Crops with Potential for Nevada

Get to know hardy perennial crops that are ready for commercial production. We will focus on less-known species including perennial vegetables, fruits and nuts, herbs, seed crops, and cut flowers. Many have potential as new specialty crops for marketing to restaurants, farmers’ markets, and particularly for CSAs.

This course also fulfills 2 days of a 13 day Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course hosted by Urban Roots. A more complete course listing will be posted soon.

To register visit Urban Roots.


Buffalo gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima) is a Nevada native perennial squash with
edible seeds. Domesticated varieties are under development.

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.

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