International Forest Garden / Food Forest Symposium

Online 31 May-4 June 2021

We are a carbon-negative organisation – we store more carbon on our land sites than we produce

Main speakers

Hover over the speakers for biographical details

Graham Bell

Grahambell.org (UK)
Graham Bell is an internationally known and respected teacher of Permaculture and several underlying disciplines including Forest Gardening and Food Preservation. He has dedicated his working life to helping others achieve the skills to live sustainably. His own home garden is a mere 800 sq metres (0.08 hectares) which produces 1.25 tonnes of food a year peak yield (pro rata 16 tonnes a hectare) 500 trees and 5000 plants for sale, half the household’s energy needs, a soft living room and an amazing teaching space which welcomes (and feeds) a thousand visitors every year from all over the planet (literally).

Martin Crawford

Agroforestry Research Trust (UK)
Martin is the founder and Director of the Agroforestry Research Trust. Founded in 1992, to research and educate in mainly temperate agroforesty systems. Some of my main interests are forest garden systems, the role of nut tree crops as sustainable staple crop alternatives, and the carbon sequestration potential of forest gardens. The ART has 8 hectares (20 acres) of research grounds and runs a commercial nursery growing and supplying tree, shrubs and perennial plants. As well as authoring 'Creating a Forest Garden' I have written other books on perennial crops, nut trees etc. Has appeared on TV (River Cottage) and radio (BBC Radio 4 - The Food Programme, Gardener's Question Time). Prior to founding the ART, my wife and I ran an organic market garden in South Devon.​

Louise Gehin

Agroecological Farm Les champs l’oeil (France)
I led a research program on the 3 forest gardens of the Bec Hellouin farm in France from 2015 to 2017. I was also in charge of the emplementation and management of the food forests. Prior to that, for 10 years helping farmers to develop agroecological practices in Morocco and India, supporting a Seed Savers' Network in Ecuador, organising an international peasant meeting in Senegal and France, Since 2018, I’m creating an agroecological farm with my husband in the South west of France producing mainly vegetables, fruits, medicinal herbs and eggs.

Christian Henriksen

Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
Associate professor in climate change and crop ecology and research group leader for the Climate and Food Security Research Group at the University of Copenhagen. We are conducting research on sustainable food production systems, including regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and urban farming with a focus on the transition to less meat and more plant based diets for reducing GHG emissions and improving human health. I am working on innovative solutions for climate smart agriculture and climate change mitigation for the global food system by applying on-farm studies, field experiments, crop modelling, environmental indicators, life cycle assessment, carbon footprint analysis, GHG accounting and decision support systems to enhance the provision of ecosystem services and increase the environmental, social and economic sustainability throughout the food value chain. I am the coordinator of the EU Horizon 2020 project FoodSHIFT2030 on transforming the European food system towards a low carbon circular future, including a transition to less meat and more plant based diets.

Jo Homan

Edible Landscapes London (UK)
Jo Homan runs Edible Landscapes London in Finsbury Park which has around 200 edible plants in it and exists to showcase forest garden plants and propagate them for community use. She has been teaching people forest gardening skills since 2012 when she developed the first ever accredited forest garden course , Creating a Forest Garden, based on Martin Crawford’s book. She now works for The Orchard Project where she has developed a level 3 Certificate in Community Orcharding. Jo's favourite forest garden nibbles: lovage, saltbush and shasta daisy leaves; jostaberry, raspberry and medlar fruits; calendula, Judas tree and Allium flowers; and chestnut and acorn nuts. Jo was a primary school teacher, layout artist, print manager and childminder before setting up Transition Finsbury Park and then founding Edible Landscapes London. She also enjoys climbing, yoga and dancing.

Rob Hopkins

Transition Network (UK)
Rob Hopkins is a co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network, and the author of The Power of Just Doing Stuff, The Transition Handbook, and The Transition Companion. In 2012 he was voted one of the Independent’s top 100 environmentalists and was on NESTA and the Observer’s list of Britain’s 50 New Radicals. Hopkins has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Four Thought and A Good Read, in the French film phenomenon Demain and sequel Apres Demain, and has spoken at TEDGlobal and 3 TEDx events. An Ashoka Fellow, Hopkins also holds a doctorate degree from the University of Plymouth and has received two honorary doctorates from the University of the West of England and the University of Namur. He is a keen gardener, a founder of New Lion Brewery in Totnes, and a director of Totnes Community Development Society, the group behind Atmos Totnes. He is the author of ‘From What Is to What If: unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want’. He blogs at www.transitionnetwork.org and www.robhopkins.net, and you can find him on Twitter at @robintransition.

Dave Jacke

Dynamics Ecological Design (USA)
Dave Jacke, primary author of Edible Forest Gardens, has studied ecological design since the mid-1970s. He has designed, built, and planted landscapes, homes, farms, and communities across the US and overseas. He homesteads in western Massachusetts USA.

Geoff Lawton

The Permaculture Research Institute Australia
Geoff is the managing director of The Permaculture Research Institute Australia and The Permaculture Research Institute USA. Establishing sustainable aid projects as permaculture demonstration sites that also function as education centres for local and international students has become a major focus with the establishment of permaculture research institutes in Jordan, Afghanistan, Spain, Malaysia, Vietnam, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Thailand, China and many more countries underway. Geoff presented the film Establishing a Food Forest in 2008, and has been extensively involved in the discovery and development of food forests in Australasia, the Middle East and other regions. He continues to develop Zaytuna Farm in NSW as a working permaculture education and demonstration farm.

Geneviève Michon

IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) France
Ethnobiologist (Ph.D), currently permanent senior scientist at IRD, Genevieve Michon has a 35 years-long research experience on native agroforestry knowledge and practices in the humid tropics (Indonesia, Congo), semi-arid mountainous areas (Morocco) and southern Europe (Corsica, Languedoc). She is also a photo-artist and produces books and exhibitions on "peasant trees" in the Mediterranean region.

P. K. Nair

P. K. Ramachandran Nair Distinguished Professor, University of Florida (USA)
Prof. Nair is a pioneering researcher and educator and a world leader in agroforestry. A founding member of ICRAF (World Agroforestry Centre) in 1977, his path-breaking research on multistory cropping with tree crops in his native Kerala, India, during the early 1970s contributed to laying the scientific foundations of agroforestry. During his outstanding career with ICRAF and at the University of Florida, Prof. Nair has made unparalleled contributions to the development of agroforestry in terms of scientific and professional publications and presentations around the world, training young scientists and professionals, providing scientific backstopping to leading development organizations, etc. His numerous recognitions include Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, American Societies of Agronomy, Crop Science, Soil Science, and Forestry; the Humboldt Prize of Germany; and honorary doctorate degrees from Universities of Kyoto, Guelph, Santiago de Compostela and others.

Steven Newman

Visiting Professor (Agroforestry), Leeds University
Professor Steven Newman is MD of BioDiversity International Ltd. The company is involved with investments in agroforestry worldwide leading to the planting of over 8 million trees as part of equitable social development projects. He is currently Visiting Professor (Agroforestry) in the School of Biology at Leeds University. He is co editor of the leading text book on temperate agroforestry and has published over 70 papers on agroforestry . He has recently set up Grow A Better Future CIC which aims to facilitate community and land restoration villages that help communities to capture a more equitable share of land betterment values to give the following benefits • Rural environment improved • Healthier food • Reduced carbon footprint • Improved social benefit • Livelihoods enhanced or new livelihoods created • Amenity value increased • Housing and accommodation facilitated

Jerome Osentowski

Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute
A forager and permaculturist, Jerome Osentowski lives in a passive solar home he built at 7200 feet above Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Director and founder of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and a permaculture designer for thirty years, he has built five greenhouses for himself and scores of others for private clients and public schools in the Rockies and more. He makes his living from an intensively cultivated indoor and outdoor forest garden and plant nursery, which he uses as a backdrop for intensive permaculture and greenhouse design courses. Among his accomplishments is hosting the longest-running Permaculture Design Course in the world, now at thirty-three years running. Jerome has also been instrumental in identifying, conserving, and propagating heritage fruit trees that have survived and borne crops for over a century in the harsh environment of the Roaring Fork Valley. Jerome’s explorations of sustainable systems and his travels for development projects have taken him all around the world.


Huelemu (Chile)
After a music career and inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka, I returned to my home town to begin a life connected to nature at my family land in the temperate/mediterranean zone of central Chile. Soon, I discovered that the nature of this land was entirely degraded, being intensively used for monocultures of rice, corn and wheat. Knowing that this wetland used to be an old growth forest a few hundred years ago, I focused all my energy to regenerate the ecosystem to a well balanced and abundant state, both for wildlife and human beings. Therefore, while restoring the native forest for wildlife and for the water balance, the only natural way to grow food and other materials was to create a forest garden and a diverse agroforestry system. Thus the project Huelemu is born, an agroforestry and forest gardening research center, mainly focused on trees and perennials for the development of “Bosquicultura” (forest culture). Since 2015 I started the establishment of the forest and I run forest garden courses every year. www.huelemu.org

Adolfo Rosati

Farmer + Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (Italy)
Adolfo Rosati is both a farmer and a PhD researcher at the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), in Italy. He has been a Visiting Scientist for several years in different Countries, including the USA, Spain, UK, and has been a Fulbright scholar at the Agroforestry Centre of the University of Missouri, USA. He works on agroecology, agroforestry and ecophysiology of trees and understory crops. He was a partner in AGFORWARD (www.agforward.eu), the largest agroforestry project funded by the European Commission (2014-2017). Dr. Rosati is a founding member of the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF) (www.eurafagroforestry.eu) and served in its executive committee as the national delegate for Italy and then as deputy secretary. He has been founder, coordinator or member of different Agoforesty working groups. As a farmer he shares a farm in central Italy with his wife, where they grow many different crops, including over 1300 different varieties of fruit species (450 varieties of apples, 80 of figs, plus persimmons, kakis, cherries, pears, medlars, quinces, sorbs, mulberries, cornelian cherries, etc.). They have a forest garden with unusual edibles and raise a few animals. They make a large variety of products (cheeses, yogurt, eggs, fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, dried fruits, olive oil), and produce wild asparagus plants. Farm produce is sold to a WhatsApp group.

Siegfried Tatschl

Siegfried Tatschl is co-founder of Permaculture Austria. A specialist in the field of fruit variety including old and rare as well as new cultivars and a trained social worker, psychotherapist and clinical supervisor, he has combined the two vocations and relevant expertise to develop a concept known as Edible Town – Edible Community, which aims to transform public green areas into fruit orchards. He sees this as the Garden of the Future, intended to promote shared community experiences and, in addition, provide a strategy for the preservation of fruit and nut diversity. Edible Towns promote a sense of belonging and responsibility for "my" street, "my" town, "my" playground. His concept "Kirchberg am Wagram – the first Edible Community of Lower Austria" won him third prize at the European Ecological Garden Award 2015. His book "555 Obstsorten für den Permakulturgarten und –balkon" (555 Fruit Varieties for Permaculture Gardens and Balconies) is a comprehensive inventory of the most diverse of fruit varieties suited for cultivation in Europe and North America.

Eric Toensmeier

Perennial Solutions (USA)
Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens as well as a contributor for Drawdown. He is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, and an international trainer, presenting in English and Spanish in the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean. Eric has studied permaculture and useful plants of the world for over two decades. He managed an urban farm project for five years, ran a seed company, and co-developed a farm business training curriculum that is now used in eight US states and three Canadian provinces. Eric’s most recent book is the Carbon Farming: a Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices which was backed by supporters through a Kickstarter campaign.

Wouter van Eck

Food Forest Ketelbroek (Netherlands)
Wouter van Eck is designer and co-farmer of Food Forest Ketelbroek in the Netherlands, being created in 2009 on a bare field of 2.5 hectare. Before starting this initiative he was head of the campaign on Food and Agriculture of Friends of the Earth. Nowadays Wouter is the chairperson of Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland (Foundation Food Forestry Netherlands), which is concentrating on the conversion of conventional farmlands to food forests. One of the projects of his foundation is a pilot farm, being a food forest of 20 hectare. Wouter is involved in building a growing food forest movement, by stimulating research by students, designing food forests, co-operating with government institutions and spreading knowledge via numerous lectures and courses in both the Netherlands and Belgium.

Philipp Weiss

Puttmyra Forest Garden (Sweden)
Philipp Weiss is a forest gardening practitioner, consultant and teacher based in central Sweden at 60.45° North. He is the main author of the critically acclaimed book on cold climate forest gardening called “Skogsträdgården: odla ätbart överallt” (tr: "The forest garden: grow edibles everywhere") which received the prestigious Swedish Gardening Book of the Year Award in 2018. His practical experience spans across most of the Nordic countries and he has been involved in the creation of more than a dozen forest gardens across Sweden and Norway. In 2011, after they ran out of space in their home garden, he and his family started establishing Puttmyra Forest Garden, which boasts more than 400 edible plant species planted on an area of 1.5 ha. Together they run a small nursery for forest garden plants suited for the cold Swedish conditions. Philipp documents many of his experiences on his tremendously popular Forest Gardening Blog, https://xn--skogstrdgrden-hfbr.xn--stjrnsund-x2a.nu/.

Salah Hammad

Global Permaculture Research Institute
Salah’s passion for the environment and sustainable food production started while working with struggling small farmers in Jordan. The experience exposed him to the urgent need for an alternative approach. This is when he decided to make the transition into a career in permaculture following a number of years in the food manufacuring industry. During his career, Salah has led and trained large teams in different food production, agroecology and permaculture projects. After managing the Zaytuna Farm, home of the permaculture Research Institute for over 3 years, now operating as a consultant. Designing, establishing and managing sustainable agriculture and permaculture projects. Salah has taught and co-taught a variety of courses in permaculture design and various related subjects on different sites. With experience in dry arid, temperate, subtropical and tropical climates covering both urban and broad acre setups, he is aiming to design and install systems that empower individuals and communities with permaculture tools that will help them meet their needs and care for the earth.


Please note: Main speakers may change due to circumstances beyond our control. If you cancel due to main speakers changing, we cannot be held liable for refund of symposium fees.

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Martin is founder and Director of the Agroforestry Research Trust