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Food Forest Workshop

June 14, 2014 @ 9:00 am - June 15, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

Maintaining your Food Forest

“A garden of Eden in your own backyard, school, community garden or neighbourhood”

About the workshop

Like the Garden of Eden, forests of food replicating natural forests are the most sensible, appealing; sustainable, diverse and productive way to grow food. We can emulate natural forests and by just changing the species to food we like we can create a food forest and whole natural eco-systems. Food forests provide a low maintenance way of growing a rich diversity of food all year round as well as habitat for animals and living organisms. They create healthy living soil and a balance and diversity to reduce pests. They also save water and nutrients creating a natural healthy rich living system. Integrated with poultry, food forests provide food and shelter and poultry provide pest control, fertilization, aeration and other needs to the food forests. Bees can equally be integrated in a food forest ensuring pollination of fruit trees.

This workshop will help you understand the value of food forests and the holistic, integral role they play in eco-systems. Learn about the importance of food forests; design and construction considerations; how food forests work; how to manage and maintain them organically across the seasons to maximize productivity and diversity. Food forests can be small or large and ensure local food production and food security on a local level.

This workshop in conjunction with is very important for urban backyards, farms, street verge planting, schools and community gardens. It is very appropriate for home gardeners; permaculture designers; landscapers; horticulturalists, town planners architects and a range of others.

Whether you already have a food forest or are totally new to the concept, you will definitely benefit from this workshop. The workshop includes both theory and hands on practical sessions. You will be creating a food forest at this workshop. By the end of the weekend you will have completed the food forest project from design, preparation, construction, planting and its development. You will get all the theory and the hands on practical experience you need to be able to go back to your home, school, community garden and create your own.

This will be a fun packed hands-on weekend with food forest experts, learning all about how to create and mange these magical systems in the simplest, most efficient, safest and productive way. You will get the information, skills and confidence to deal with all the important basics you need. This is a rare workshop opportunity not to miss. Take another step closer towards becoming a more responsible producer, not a dependent consumer. Become more self-reliant and in control of your food locally by producing your backyard food forest and ensuring a secure source of local food.

Take a look at this lovely video from the Kids at Cringila Public School who have been propagating plants especially for this workshop at the Sydney Permaculture Institute!

Crini Kids Propagate Plants from Cringila Public School on Vimeo.


About the Trainers

Aaron Sorenson and Dan Deighton specialize in food forest design and development. Together they have created excellent examples of food forests in the south cost and Sydney and abroad. They have installed food forests into community gardens, schools, private homes and places abroad. They are very experienced in this and field and exceptional trainers.


Aaron Sorensen is a qualified teacher and has studied fine arts before full immersion in Permaculture design, practice and training.

His foundation work with the establishment and development of the North Wollongong Community Garden at the Wollongong PCYC (a demonstration site for urban Permaculture) has provided the basis for growing the “Living Classroom” program with Daniel Deighton.

Aaron has been working with primary & secondary students and the wider community in a variety of contexts weaving both organic gardening and community arts projects into educational practice since 1993.

Aaron believes sustainable gardening practice to be an effective conduit of positive human transformation. The “Living Classrooms” like community gardens facilitate growing happy, healthy communities through connection and participation in natural cycles.

Aaron currently facilitates training in the “Living Classrooms” of Cringila, Coledale, Mt Terry, Port Kembla and Warrawong Public schools and Warrawong High school for students and support for staff and the wider school community.

He also collaborates with Dan Deighton in Permaculture design for urban and rural applications including like community gardens, school “Living Classrooms” and eco farms. Their work also includes Permaculture training on PDCs (Permaculture Design Courses), introductions to Permaculture and workshops in food forest design, intensive organic growing both locally and abroad.


Daniel Deighton has a degree in Landscape Architecture and a Diploma In Permaculture. He has been working in environmental design, restoration and conservation, community food gardening and community development since completing his formal education in 1992.

The restoration of Tom Thumb Lagoon Wetland in Coniston and the Port Kembla Laneway – pathway to sustainability project – are foundation projects upon which Daniel, in collaboration with Aaron Sorensen, developed the “Living Classroom” program.

Daniel’s passion for biodiversity conservation, environment restoration, & community food gardening have become a vehicle for his involvement in community development, growth and a return towards a culture of care for the earth, care for people and sharing resources – key ethics of the permaculture profession that guide his life and work.

Daniel is currently working with the Port Kembla Community Project, facilitating community development through local food initiative like “Urban Grown” city farm.

He is delivering the “Living Classroom” and “Garden Ambassador” training program at Mt Terry and Kiama Public schools.

Daniel is a talented Permaculture designer in urban, suburban and rural applications locally and abroad. He also provides specialist training in the establishment and maintenance of resilient Permaculture systems.

Workshop Program

The Food Forest Workshop is offered twice a year with either a Cool Season Workshop or a Warm Season workshop. It is best to attend both of these to get a complete understanding of food forests across the seasons. Each workshop focuses on the needs, tasks, activities, issues and species selection and planting for that particular season and in this way they are different. Both workshops do cover program topics listed below.

This workshop will cover practical and theoretical information about food forests:

  • the importance of food forests
  • the theory of food forests
  • guilds
  • designing food forests
  • permaculture zones and the food forest zone
  • species selection for different functions and year round production
  • green manures, cover crops, legumes and support species,
  • getting started
  • pre-construction and construction tasks and issues
  • earthworks and water systems of food forests
  • creating healthy living soils
  • compost teas
  • fertilisation of food forests
  • maintenance and on-going management of food forests
  • being organic
  • pests, diseases and methods of control
  • how to manage on a seasonal basis
  • harvest considerations
  • maximizing productivity
  • Integrating animal systems – birds and bees
PSI members receive a 10% discount



June 14, 2014 @ 9:00 am
June 15, 2014 @ 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Bandusia Country Retreat
1056 Upper Macdonald Rd
Upper MacDonald (St Albans), NSW Australia
+ Google Map
(02) 4568 2036


Aaron Sorenson and Dan Deighton.
Hat; gloves; work boots, gum boots or sturdy footwear; camera, water bottle.
Click here for details