Location: Botanical Gardens University Utrecht
Days: Saturday 4th of June
Time: 10:30 – 16:30
Total participants: 25 people
Teacher: Xavier San Giorgi
Language: English (teacher speaks Dutch and Spanish)
Lunch: BYO – Bring your own!
A food forest is a form of perennial agriculture in which the structure and positive ecological relationships of a natural forest system are utilized to inform the design and management of a productive system. A food forest can produce an abundance of food, herbs, spices, fuel, fibre and medicine and additionally may provide a variety of ecological services, such as, nutrient cycling, habitat, climate regulation, while being a wonderful place to reside in.
In contrast to a natural forest, a food forest is designed with a predominance of food producing species, but is distinguished from an orchard by the high diversity of species and up to 7 distinct layers of vegetation (tree, shrub, herbaceous etc.). The ecological qualities of the different species are utilized intelligently to provide a stable, and resilient system, which requires fewer external inputs and reduced maintenance compared to a conventional agricultural system. Furthermore, food forests can be designed for backyards, urban agriculture, city parks or farms.
During the day we will have a 3 hour introduction which will give you an understanding of the principles of food forestry. Additionally, we will introduce you to many functional food forest plant species for which we will also make a tour of a Botanical Garden.
In the past 5 years Xavier San Giorgi (ir.) has gained experience in many interesting food forests around the globe, including; Cuba, England (Plants for a Future and Martin Crawford) and Jordan (Greening the Desert of Geoff Lawton). He has also taken part in the International Permaculture conference and holds two PDC’s.
In the Netherlands Xavier has given various courses on food forestry. Additionally, he has the practical experience of designing and implementing several food forest projects the latest being at the Oostwaard Estate (Oud Zuilen) and Metabolic (Amsterdam). Whilst now managing Food Forest Makeblijde for more than three years. At the moment he is involved with the design of a 4.2 ha island for the Floriade of 2022, and a smallholding in Almere.