Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry Workshop with Eric Toensmeier (Vermont, June/July, 2014)

Butternut, hazel, sunchoke and elderberry: nuts, fruits, tubers, and beneficial insects!

What: Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry Workshop
Where: Huntington, VT, USA

Want to learn about edible forest gardens, agroforestry, and commercial food forest business development for cold, humid climates? This is the workshop for you! Choose from an introductory weekend and an advanced six-day intensive. For more information or to register click here.

Part 1 — Home Scale Introduction to Forest Gardens June 28th – June 29th

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. Learn simple guidelines, based on real experience, for designing “polycultures” of several species. Small group design exercises will give participants the information necessary to create beneficial ecosystems and fruitful harvests in their own forest gardens. We’ll profile regionally adapted species, give general tips for growing perennial vegetables, and discuss the larger context of perennial agriculture’s contribution to sustainability.

Serviceberries are great native components of forest gardens.

Part 2 — Commercial Food Forestry (Includes Introduction to Forest Gardens) June 28th – July 3rd

This portion of the workshop discusses enterprise options (products and services), marketing strategies and equipment and infrastructure requirements for regenerative perennial farming systems. Additionally, Eric will present case studies of food forest businesses. Get to know hardy perennial crops ready for commercial production. We’ll focus on lesser-known species including perennial vegetables with commercial potential for marketing to restaurants, farmers’ markets, and particularly for CSAs – including perennial salad crops, braising greens, broccolis, edible shoots and cut flowers, with coverage of a few nuts and fruits. As a bonus Eric will discuss his forthcoming book Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stalization with Tree Crops.

Seaberry is a new commercial crop for cold climates. A nitrogen fixer with edible fruit,
it is a great candidate for food forestry.

Eric Toensmeier has studied and practiced permaculture since 1990. He is the author of two award-winning books: Perennial Vegetables (2007) and Edible Forest Gardens (2005, with Dave Jacke). His latest book is Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City (2013, with Jonathan Bates). Eric is an expert on the world’s useful perennial crops. He has run an urban farm project and a seed company, and taught and consulted throughout the Americas in English and Spanish. His current project is a book: Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices.

Vermont Edible Landscape, LLC is a land planning business focused on the development of agro-ecosystems. We work with our clients to design, install and establish ecologically regenerative landscapes. We approach land management through an agrarian lens utilizing a variety of diverse biological disciplines. Our services include: Site Evaluation, Planning and 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.


  1. Dear Eric,

    are there any commercial agroforestry growsers in operation, yet?
    Could someone point me to a /some webpage/s?

    Is there a chance for a workshop in Central Europa at some time soon?

    Kind regards

  2. I don’t know if you are looking only in Vermont, but there is a place in NJ called Fields without Fences. There is also Three Sisters Farm in PA which may have some forest gardening on a commercial level.

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