Edible Forest Gardens Design Intensive

When: Back to Calendar May 31, 2013 @ 7:30 am – June 5, 2013 @ 5:30 pm
Where: The Farm at Verde Gardens
12690 Southwest 280th Street
Homestead,FL 33032
Cost: $250-$550
Contact: General Info
(786) 233-2784

Advanced Permaculture Design with Eric Toensmeier

Author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables

Co-author of Edible Forest Gardens with Dave Jacke- View their Books Here

May 31-June 5, 2013

The Farm at Verde Gardens


You will learn how to design and plant a food forest, hands-on!



Edible forest gardensproduce delicious food while imitating natural forest ecosystems. Trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, groundcovers and fungi can combine to formhealthy edibleecosystems. Design and plant selection help provide fertility, control of weeds and pests, and more.


How can you design an edible garden that works like a healthy ecosystem? Learn simple guidelines, based on real experience, for designing mixed-species polycultures of useful perennials. Small-group design exercises will give you the tools to create productive harvests and positive relationships between plants in your forest garden. The weekend portion of the course will introduce basic concepts, the design process, useful species including underutilized natives, and take on a planting project in Earth Learning’s newly established food forest. This introductory portion of the course can be taken as a stand-alone class. The course continues through Wednesday (whole day added), addressing more advanced topics. We will look at the carbon-sequestering potential of perennial agriculture, and address considerations for commercial-scale operations. We will look to the pinelands and hardwoods hammocks of south Florida as a model and a source of inspiration and useful species, including ecosystem mimicry exercises in the Everglades. Also, a new module has been added to learn how to do financial modeling for commercial edible forest gardens. Those who already have a Permaculture Design Certificate can choose to take this class as an Advanced Permaculture Design Course and gain an Advanced Design Certificate.

Note that this course is about gardening like a forest, not necessarily gardening in a forest. Useful plants for truly full shade are somewhat limited. Both courses involve practice (forest walks, hands-on gardening) and theory (ecology and design).


Instructors: Eric Toensmeier




Registration Options:


  • $550 for the full course (including the Immersion and vegetarian meals)
  • $275 for the weekend portion including the Immersion (including the Immersion and vegetarian meals)
  • $45 Perennial Immersion at Fruit & Spice Park


Early Registration, Before May 15, 2013:


  • $500 for the full course (including the Immersion and vegetarian meals)
  • $250 for the weekend portion including the Immersion (including the Immersion and vegetarian meals)
  • $35 Perennial Immersion at Fruit & Spice Park


Location: The Farm at Verde Gardens (12690 SW 280 Street, Homestead, FL 33032)
Times: see Schedule
Limited Space Available…


For more information see:




Also read carbon farming and perennial staples articles.


Questions?  Contact events@earth-learning.org


About the Instructor
Eric Toensmeier has studied and practiced permaculture since 1990. He has spent much of his adult life exploring edible and useful plants of the world and their use in perennial agroecosystems. He is the author of Perennial Vegetables and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens with Dave Jacke. Both books have received multiple awards. His latest book, Paradise Lot was just recently released.

Eric’s recent work is to promote perennial farming systems as a multipurpose carbon-sequestering strategy. He is a founding Board member of the Apios Institute for Regenerative Perennial Agriculture and recently founded the Bosque Comestible project, an online Spanish-language user-generated database of useful perennials for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, with an international team. Eric started and ran the Tierra de Oportuniades urban farming project for Nuestras Raíces Inc. in Holyoke Massachusetts, providing immigrants and refugees with start-up farming opportunities and creating a cultural agritourism destination.

Eric teaches and consults in English and Spanish in North America, the Caribbean, Central America, and Europe. His lively style and practical experience have won teaching awards. He has taught in advanced permaculture trainings including the Carbon Farming Course and Financial Permaculture.

His urban backyard is a model of how to apply permaculture to a small space with poor soils, featuring over 200 useful perennial and self-seeding species on 1/10 of an acre. Eric’s writings, photos, and videos can be viewed atwww.perennialsolutions.org.