2nd International Forest Garden / Food Forest Symposium

Online 20 - 24 February 2023

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


Hover over the speakers for biographical details. Speakers may change between now and the symposium.

Aiah Noack

Naturplanteskolen (Natures Plant School), Denmark
Permaculture and edible forest gardens make up an unique nature-based restoration of land, and being specialized in perennial vegetables the land at Naturplanteskolen has been turned regenerative in just a few seasons while waiting for the forest part of the gardening system to establish. Naturplanteskolen is a 10 year old experiment, inspiring and being visited by thousands every year, for its plants, growing systems, therapeutic effects, biodiversity and beauty. The birdlife has enhanced dramatical, as well as soil quality and insect diversity.

Alan Carter

Alan studied forestry at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and has gone on to work as a contractor in forestry, gardening, conservation and greenspace management. As a forester from a family of keen gardeners, he says that forest gardening came naturally! He became interested in forest gardening while studying and has spent many years experimenting with it on his allotment, trying to work out the principles and species that work for a cool temperate climate in the north east of Scotland. His results are published in the book A Food Forest In Your Garden and on his website. He is chair of the charity Reforesting Scotland, which works for the restoration of forest cover, ecology and culture in Scotland.

Anders Linden

Rydeholm, Sweden
Anders is 6th generation on the farm where he grew up. With the farm landscape as his playground he spent his time hunting, foraging, fishing, and planting with his father and grandfather. Educated in the UK (MA & MSc Philosophy), he returned to the farm and started an avid treeplanting campaign in 2010. Inspired by Martin Crawford, Bill Mollison, J. Russel Smith, Aldo Leopold, and Wendell Berry, he has a slow and steady plan to spend his life turning the industrial agricultural fields into a verdant oasis for the soul. You can see more about his proiject at https://youtu.be/FaoGlkrxyvE

Andreas Maier

As a software developer, always interested in gardening and edible plants, I found out about food forests via the internet. I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea and the search for a plot of land began. In 2013 I started on a green, more or less terraced meadow. Not owning a car, first trees was transported with public buses and the plot of land was not protected by a wildlife fence. Since then, I'm trying to address the challenges that come with creating a food forest on this plot of land like browsing and compacted, rocky, and/or waterlogged soils. Years of experiences, experiments and observations bring the dream of a food forest closer. In addition I talked about food forests on the radio and I'm writing a software that will support its design.

Anna Locke

Town Grown, UK
Anna has been a permaculture designer since 2011 and has over 20 years' experience as a community gardener, across many different types of edible garden projects. She absolutely loves the forest gardening system as a solution to low maintenance food. Her talk will be about the role of these types of food growing gardens within the bigger landscape of towns, gardens and public spaces. She is a permaculture consultant, designer, author (The Forager's Garden, Permanent Publications 2021) and small farmer, living in Hastings.

Anne Stobart

Medicinal Forest Garden Trust, UK
Anne Stobart is a medical herbalist, grower and researcher. Previously, she taught herbal therapeutics on the professional programme for clinical herbal practitioners at Middlesex University, UK. Her research interests span from domestic medicine and recipes in the early modern period to present-day sustainable supplies of herbal medicine. She is a member of the advisory board for the Journal of Herbal Medicine, and is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK. Her publications include Household Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England, (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) and The Medicinal Forest Garden Handbook (Permanent Publications, 2020). Anne cofounded the Holt Wood Herbs project based on permaculture design principles, transforming a redundant conifer plantation into a thriving medicinal forest garden. At present she is developing the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust and working with several groups to on medicinal forest garden projects. Anne offers online courses in growing and using medicinal trees and shrubs.

Bastiaan Rooduijn

National Monitoring Program Food Forests (NL), The Netherlands
Bastiaan graduated in ecology and forestry, with a strong passion for biodiversity and sustainable food production. He has been applying his knowledge and experience in this field for more than 6 years in the realisation of edible landscapes in the Netherlands and abroad.He is specialised in the needs and uses of edible plant species and their application in food forests, from advice, design, creation, maintenance and operation to research. Due to a lack of reliable data on food forest functionality in temperate regions, Bastiaan started the National Monitoring Programme Food Forests in 2019, which collects ecological, (agro)economic and social data in a standardized way in a large group of Dutch food forests. Bastiaan is also co-founder of Ondergrond, a Rotterdam-based initiative aiming to transform society by means of food forests, literally by designing, planting and maintaining ever more sites and metaphorically by training everyone interested in the underlying principles and how these can also be applied in a wider context. Within Ondergrond, Bastiaan is an ecologist, plant expert and food forest designer. He actively works on knowledge buildup and sharing during tours, excursions and exchanges.

Bernhard Gruber

Österreichisches Waldgarten-Insitute (Austrian Forestgarden-Instiute), Austria
Bernhard grew up on a smallscale farm at the subburb of Wels, 8th biggest town of Austria. The 6 acre farm was passed over in the family since several generations. His father, Hans Hermann Gruber, already started do devolp an edible forestgarden in the late 1980s, behalf of the ideas of Robert Hart, implementing ethics an principles of Permaculture. Bernhard studdied foodtechnologie, technical design and advertisement, he did his Permaculture Designcource in 2005 at Eco Center Novacella / Italy, held by Joe Polaischer. In the year 2010 he started his own forest garden in the sice of 1 acre. His challenge was to work on wetland, so he implemented Chinampas into his foodforest. Since this time he is also doing Permaculture Consultation und Trainings in Europe and Africa. In 2016 he founded with his father the Austrian Forestgarden-Insitute. His 1st book was about simple permaculture solution, the 2nd how to build breadbaking oven, the 3rd the first printed Permaculture book in kiswahili and now his latest about their own forestgarden and agroforestry in general.

Bridget O’Brien & Dr Charlie Brennan

Garden Juju Collective, US-Australia-UK
Dr. Charlie Brennan and Bridget O’Brien are explorers, designers, and educators offering in-person and online consultations, design, project management and workshops worldwide through our design collaboration Garden Juju Collective. Charlie offers skills in design, eco-landscaping, Permaculture, ecopsychology, food systems and conservation. With 30+ years of applied experience, he is passionate and committed. From hands-on working, project design and coordination and community education in farming, eco-landscape design and garden making, Permaculture / edible streetscapes, rainforest regeneration, to supporting Aboriginal Caring for Country. He is a social ecologist and researcher and has lectured in ethics and sense of place. Bridget weaves healing, beauty and function into her life and work. This includes cultivating a range of regenerative applied skills in design, facilitation, horticulture, eco-landscaping, Permaculture, food and medicine growing, fermentation, yoga – and generally as an approach to living an ethical and abundant life. Bridget and Charlie are also the creative developers of the ‘Adapt’ design game that stimulates, supports and challenges you to think and act differently. Adapt’s creative process can be applied to anything and everything from the design of a garden, to how to live sustainably, to business ideas, to ways of caring for community and self www.playadapt.com

Cesc Maldonado

Catalonia (Spain)
I consider my inner way to live and relate with plants was born when I was a young boy, 10 or 11 years old, taking care of my family´s little garden as an imposed summer homework. That was a real basis. Later my Fine arts degree studies gave me an aesthetic vision to look at the plants and plant communities, that I consider a basic tool in my practice. I started to work as a garden designer and maker following my self- taught approach, my own guide. This is the way I met Food Forest impulse and culture as well. Nowadays I work to introduce Food Forest principles in gardening projects around Barcelona.

Chris Evans

Applewood Permaculture Centre, UK
Chris lives at Applewood with his partner Looby and children Shanti and Teya. He has taught permaculture in the UK, Europe, Nepal, India, U.S.A. and Mexico. He is also a senior level tutor for apprentices working towards their diploma in applied permaculture design with the Permaculture Association Britain. He has lived and worked in Nepal since 1985, where in 1988, he came across Permaculture, and with a local friend, £500 and an acre of degraded farmland, founded a demonstration and training centre which grew organically into the Jajarkot Permaculture Programme, a diverse array of projects spanning 4 districts, 65 villages, 8 resource centres, 120 staff and volunteers, and a membership of 12,000 farmers which successfully spread new ideas in line with existing cultural traditions. In 2001 he co-wrote and published the Farmers' Handbook, a compendium of farmer-friendly techniques and approaches based on best practice in Nepal, but applicable globally. He currently works with a 3rd generation progeny of the JPP, the Himalayan Permaculture Centre (HPC). His experience and passion have been designing, setting up and managing resource centres that are working demonstrations of applied permaculture as well as training venues, and he aims to develop Applewood in a similar pattern, making its resources available to as wide a group as possible. From this springboard is the vision of collaborative design for abundant and regenerative settlements as models for around the globe, for ever.

Chris Mallorie

My experience of working in gardens over the past 15 years and increasingly with fruit trees has inspired me to embark on a (slow paced) journey of sharing relevant and interesting pruning know how I have learned. I aim to focus on holistic approach and by that i mean taking action, or not, with reference to the setting but at the same time also referring to relevant academic literature. In my experience, whilst orchardists have created their own knowhow, home gardeners are often informed by knowhow that originated in a different setting and can become confused. Forest gardeners being a relatively new breed, you may agree naturally could be vulnerable to this - myself included! In tandem with basic ideas presented at the last symposium I'd like to take the opportunity to expand on some pretty nifty and logical ideas around establishment of fruit trees from our heritage of published research on apple trees. These may be relevant to savvy forest gardeners now who want to set our trees up with simple steps to focus growth of our trees toward good yield and longevity with minimal work. Thus optimising their participation in the forest garden / agroforestry ecosystem.

Chris Warburton-Brown

The Permaculture Association, UK
Dr Chris Warburton Brown, Climate Action Coordinator of the Permaculture Association Britain, has been studying temperate forest gardens for a decade. With Tomas Remiarz he undertook an in-depth survey of 220 temperate forest gardens, the biggest of its kind ever conducted. He also worked with Tomas on the Association's 10-year forest garden trials, which followed the development of 13 UK forest gardens from 2010 to 2021. He recently organised the Forest Garden Day at the National Festival of Permaculture. He is a trustee of Scotswood Natural Community Garden and has his own domestic-size forest garden which provides fruit from June to December.

Dani Baker

The Enchanted Edible Forest at Cross Island Farms, USA
Plant by plant, Dani Baker has been assembling what she calls her “Enchanted Edible Forest” for the last 10 years. Dani is the author of the book The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape. (Chelsea Green Publishing). Baker’s own permaculture paradise is based in New York state and boasts hundreds of different edible fruits, nuts and flowers.

Emile van der Staak

Restaurant De Nieuwe Winkel, The Netherlands
At Restaurant “De Nieuwe Winkel” in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) flavour comes first. But owner and chef Emile van der Staak also cooks to help make the world a better place. That’s why his team cooks with plants: botanical gastronomy. In co-operation with nearby located Food Forest Ketelbroek many different perennial plants are being harvested and used to create delicious meals. This brings food to the fork that will truly overwhelm visitors. Food Forest Ketelbroek and restaurant De Nieuwe Winkel did grow up together. The co-opration between farmer Wouter van Eck and chef Emile van der Staak became quite successful: Michelin awarded this restaurant in 2022 with two stars (plus one for sustainability).

Francesca Riolo

Parma Sostenibile, Italy
Francesca Riolo is an activist of the Parma Sostenibile NGO, science communicator and referee of the Picasso Food Forest project. She has a Master degree in environmental sciences with a passion for ecology and biology and grassroot experience in urban forestry and urban green, biodiversity conservation, agroecology and sustainable diets. She started the Picasso Food Forest project in 2012 with an informal group of citizens named Fruttorti di Parma, that in 2020 became a project under Parma Sostenibile.

Gavin Hardy

Community Gardens Australia
Gavin recently travelled to investigate some of the world's best community agroforestry programs and sites to understand their governance, operations, design and services. He is a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow and is the Queensland coordinator of the national community gardens network, Community Gardens Australia. Gav is also a multi-award winning landscape architect and engineer with over 25 years experience planning, designing and building numerous re-wilding landscapes and food systems. Gavin brings an understanding of the social, educational and landscape amenity aspects of agroforestry in the public arena. He tends his own food forest at an apartment block in the subtropical city of Brisbane, Australia.

Gisela Mir & Mark Biffen

Phoenicurus, Spain
Co-creators of "Phoenicurus", a small-scale permaculture project in Cardedeu (Catalonia), specialising in Mediterranean Forest Gardening, No-Dig/Synergic Horticulture, and edible wild plants. Phoenicurus is a space for education, demonstration and experimentation, offering courses both on- and off-site; design and consultancy services for other land-based projects and gardens; and collaboration with other associations, institutions, and schools. Qualified in Permaculture Design, Natural Agriculture, and Garden Design. Also founding members of the local consumer cooperative "Cardedeu Autosuficient" (now "La Fresca"); and transition town group, "Cardedeu en Transició"; secretaries of the local heritage seed-saving group "Llavors Orientals"; and participants in various EU projects (e.g. European Permaculture Teachers, European Urban Gardens etc.). Most recently, authors of the first forest gardening book in Spanish - "Bosques y jardines de alimentos" (ed. Fertilidad de la Tierra, 2021).

Hannah Gardiner

The Permaculture Association
Hannah Gardiner is a freelance researcher and board member of the National Forest Gardening Scheme.

Isabelle van der Zanden

Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), the Netherlands
After finishing my studies in biology and soil science, I've worked for the Dutch Food Forest Association (Stichting Voedselbosbouw NL) where I collaborated on establishing large-scale, production oriented food forests in the Netherlands. During this period I also teamed up with other scientists and food forest pioneers to write a research proposal for long-term food forest research. Our efforts resulted in a 4 year research program to lay the scientific foundation for Dutch food forestry. Within this project I now work as a PhD student on the relationship between belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functoning in Dutch and Flemish food forests. Together with Lieke Moereels, I am creating a large dataset, measuring many soil phyiscal, chemical and biological properties of food forests and local reference sites.

Jake Rayson

Nature Works, Wales
Jake Rayson is a wildlife, food forest garden designer. He lives in West Wales with his young family, and his work encompasses ornamental gardens, schools and agroforestry. In a time of Ecological and Climate Emergency, forest gardens are one way to a greater engagement with, and appreciation of, our landscapes, wildlife and ecosystems. By working with both edibles and native wild flowers in ornamental garden settings, we can broadcast to a wider audience the idea of working with nature to grow edible crops.

Jasmijn Cantrijn

Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland, the Netherlands
I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in International Food and Agribusiness with research on a calculation tool for agroforestry. With this tool, farmers can look at the economic feasibility of their food forest. Currently, I am doing a master’s degree in Development and Rural Innovation at Wageningen University and Research. My vision for future food production is a food system whereby people work together to create a healthy diet for everyone. I think agroforestry is a farming method with much potential to fulfil my vision. I hope that the calculation tool for agroforestry will give people an answer to the question if agroforestry is profitable.

Jeroen Kruit

Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR), The Netherlands
Jeroen Kruit, trained as a landscape architect, started in 1999 as a researcher at what is now called Wageningen Environmental Research. His work revolves around practicing, stimulating, and facilitating collaboration and learning in contexts where people (bottom-up) explore alternative strategies for a future-proof society. In addition to his work as a researcher Jeroen is also active at Wageningen University, in the master course Academic Consultancy Training (ACT). Jeroen represents WUR in the Green Deal Food Forests. Since 2017, he has been coordinating food forestry-related research (including the Public Private Partnership Project ‘Scientific underpinning for Food Forestry’). The focus is on finding scientific proof for- and explaining the potential of this promising form of agriculture. Because it is not easy for outsiders and students to find their way on the WUR website, Jeroen started a food forest research website on his own initiative to show people the way and to make student research available. This is however still in a very early phase of development.

Jeroen Bruijnes

Wageningen Environmental Research (WUR), The Netherlands
I am a biologist at Wageningen Environmental Research (WUR). My research focuses on biodiversity in agricultural areas. I monitor the development of biodiversity in two large food forest (20 and 30 hectares) and compare the biodiversity with other agricultural systems.

Jo Barker

Future Food Forests CIC, UK
Jo has been passionate about forest gardens and food forests since the mid 90's through Permaculture. She originally trained as a Landscape Architect alongside Permaculture Design, working mainly with communities in Manchester and then Kent. Since 2008 she has been designing forest gardens for individuals, communities and small farms. She set up Future Food Forests CIC in 2021 to help expand the ideas and explore the connection to a more ancient way of living or future food and the benefits to our wellbeing, climate action and increasing biodiversity. She holds the unofficial record for the number of forest garden foraged ingredients in a salad (over 300).

John Parry + students

University of Sussex, UK
Main research interest in education for sustainable development following a community-based action research project within the Economic and Social Research Council's Global Environmental Change programme 1994 – 1997 and a Doctorate from the University of Sussex in 2001. Part-time senior lecturer at the University of Sussex and Convenor of the Forest Food Garden elective, set up in 2020, for 2nd year students which includes forest food garden development in two schools in his home town of Lewes. Recent research with colleagues Dr Perpetua Kirby, Dr Rebecca Webb, Dr Michael Jonik and Professor Simon Thompson ‘Creating with uncertainty: Covid recovery to educate for sustainable futures’ is supporting local schools to reflect on pandemic experiences in order to think through what students need to engage with the inevitable uncertainties of climate change.

Jordy van Eijk

Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland & Stichting ReGeneratie, The Netherlands
Jordy has a background as a forest ecologist at Wageningen University. Since 2017, he has been focussing on the design, implementation, management and knowledge sharing of complex agroforestry systems. First in the role of researcher through his study and later also as entrepreneur. Jordy's particular topics of interest are design methods and the selection of plant material reflected in a broad diversity of activities. As co-founder of Stichting ReGeneratie, he aims to create a knowledge platform to professionalize small scale complex agroforestry systems in the Netherlands and connect young entrepreneurs to land owners. More so, together with Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland he is developing an open-content plant database based on functional characteristics of 100 promising food forest species, including varieties and rootstocks, for professional cultivation in the Netherlands. At organic tree nursery Kwekerij Dependens Jordy is building up a broad assortment of edible plants. As a lecturer he teaches in the permaculture course at the Wageningen University. Finally, he is involved in the design and implementation of a growing number of projects, such as Voedselbos Hillock (Oosterbeek), Voedselbos De Pleez (Leuth) and the saline food forest Houtrak (Haarlemmermeer).

Jörn Müller

permagruen | eco-systemic land use, Germany
Jörn Müller gladly left the often destructive practice of commercial tree care and landscape gardening behind when he found and instantly adopted permaculture as a systemic approach to cultivating the land and the self. Influenced by his formal training as an anthropologist, this set him onto re-thinking traditional land use systems and led him to discover the wonderfully elegant and efficient art of mimicking nature that is forest gardening. Since then he has not only started his own experimental food forest but also supported others to do so: Primarily by professional consultation, but more importantly by teaching permaculture-guided courses on the specifics of diverse agroforestry approaches. He lives in southwestern Germany where he tends and enthusiastically learns from various forest garden ecosystems.

Karina Ponton

The Permaculture Association, UK
Karina Ponton is an assistant woodland advisor with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG SW). She holds a masters in Environmental Forestry, where she undertook a ten year review of forest gardens and forest gardeners in the UK with the Permaculture Association.

Lea barbance & Ronan Delente

La closerie d'olt, France
Ronan Delente and Lea Barbance are a French couple formerly working in hostellerie for 10 years. We are currently changing horizon, setting up, developing and encouraging agroecology practices for small-scale (1ha) food production throughout diverse micro-habitats. The project is very new, launched in autumn-winter 2021 at Saint Parthem, South of France.

Kristen Krash

Sueño de Vida, Ecuador
Kristen is the co-founder and director of the Sueño de Vida regenerative living project in Ecuador. Prior to moving, Kristen was known for her guerrilla gardens — productive green spaces she created in any available space. Now an urban transplant in the South American rain forest, she has adapted her urban gardening and sustainability skills to large-scale reforestation of degraded land. She takes a practical and accessible approach to regenerative agroforestry in addition to helping others achieve more balance and self-sufficiency in their lives.

Lieke Moereels

Forest & Nature Lab, University of Ghent, Belgium
Born in between Ghent and Brussels in Belgium, I studied Biology at Ghent University (with a major in Functional Biology and a Master thesis about microplastic transfer in marine food webs). After pursuing some interests in social work and education, I volunteered on organic vegetable farms in France for a couple of months. Since October 2021, I am working on a research project at the Forest & Nature Lab of Ghent University in which I investigate ecosystem service delivery by temperate food forests. Part of this research project focusses on soil-related services, and within this context, Isabelle van der Zanden and I are collaborating to examine the soils in Dutch and Flemish food forests.

Lotta Ortheil

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and LMU Munich, Germany
Lotta Ortheil studied Art Research, Media Philosophy and Media Arts at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe and IUAV University Venice. In 2017 she graduated with a Master thesis on the aesthetics of the 2008 financial crisis. During an internship as an educator in Mexico City she developed an interest in the impacts of climate change and environmental education. In 2019 she completed her second Master of Research degree in Climate Change Science and Management at Ca’ Foscari University Venice with a final report on stakeholder dialogues in the field of climate services developed in collaboration with Climate Service Center Germany in Hamburg. In her PhD project she explores the potential role of urban food forests in sustainable city development in Brazilian and European cities. Her general research interests include human-environmental relationships, community resilience and sustainability practices.

Malika Cieremans

Circle Ecology Food Forestry, The Netherlands
Malika Cieremans is a passionate and experienced food forest teacher, designer and researcher. She is based in Wageningen, The Netherlands, where she happily lives with her partner. Malika founded her own company “CircleEcology foodforests & edible green space” and has been developing a food forest in a forest, Het Voedselrijk, since 2019. This is a dream come true, as she envisioned an experimental demonstration site ever since her MSc thesis on forest gardening in the 1990s, inspired by permaculture, Robert Hart, deep ecology, and Russia’s magnificent forest ecosystems and traditional uses. In between, she travelled and lived in many countries, contributing to bottom-up projects on natural gardening, reforestation and landscape restoration. She also worked as a PhD researcher, as policymaker for the Dutch ministry service for countryside development (DLG), as water landscape engineer in Portugal, and as translator of a number of books on healthy farming, gardening and living.

Malte Rod

Rod & Lund, Denmark
Malte Rod is a nursery gardener in perennial crops, mostly leafy ones. He's currently working as a teaching gardener at the Copenhagen Hospitality College, runs a small specialty perennial nursery and researching for a book on the culinary use of perennial vegetables.

Marc Buiter

Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland, The Netherlands
As a self-employed consultant Marc Buiter runs his own enterprise going by the name of Embergy Consulting. He enjoys working with frontrunners on the co-creation and implementation of system innovations that have the potential to accelerate and reinforce the transition toward a sustainable food system. This focus motivated him in 2016 to become co-founder and secretary of Stichting Voedselbosbouw 1 Nederland, a national foundation that develops and operates mostly large-scale food forests, in support of the transition toward a sustainable food system in the Netherlands. In 2020, Marc became co-founder and secretary of stichting Feedback to the future. This international foundation supports the co-creation and operation of regenerative innovations like food forests to promote a sustainable development of local communities in Africa and elsewhere. Within Stichting Voedselbosbouw Marc has taken up diverse responsibilities, varying from the management of the program Sustainable Breakthrough Food Forestry to the co-writing of a manual about the business practice of food forestry. In his work Marc builds upon more than 25 years of experience with innovative projects and programs on the interface of sustainable land use, agriculture, nature, and rural and urban development.

Margarita Palatnik

Vivero El Medellín, Uruguay
I am a gardener, Permaculture enthusiast and rookie plant nursery owner devoted to promoting vegetable gardens, food forests the use of native plants in gardening and agroecology. I have worked in financial journalism and translation and still own a home furnishings shop. I spent 20 years between Madrid, New York, Sao Paulo and the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey before returning home in 2008. I currently live on a 5 hectare (12 acre) property near the coast of Maldonado, where I experiment and test plants and systems for growing food at a domestic scale. I am currently establishing a retail plant nursery devoted to native, edible, medicinal and useful plants.

Maria Hammarsten

Jönköping University, Sweden
Maria Hammarsten is a PhD student at the research school for licentiates in pedagogy with a focus on didactics at Jönköping University. Her research has a focus upon how children make meaning in outdoor places and involves the topic of outdoor education and outdoor learning. Maria´s ongoing research project investigates the use of ”the forest garden” – a outdoor environment for learning. The aim of the project is to study a forest garden’s potential from children`s perspectives. Maria is a member of the research group Sustainability Education Research [SER] at the School of Education and Communication in Jönköping.

Marieke Karssen

Food from the Forest / Voedsel uit het Bos, The Netherlands
Marieke Karssen (1964) grew up as a daughter of a plant physiologist in Holland's greenest town: Wageningen. But, after a youth close to nature, at 18 she wanted anything but that. She discovered computers, programming, design and worked from 1994 onwards with html and the Internet. In 2001 she experienced what lots of people are encountering right now: a life so disconnected from real contact with the planet that a burn out was inevitable. From that moment on green and food and health and later permaculture and food forestry became more and more important. From 2015 onwards she decided only to work on online projects that helped to make this world a greener and healthier place. She works with her team of co-freelancers in The Plant and developed from there, together with Frank Gorter, Food from the Forest. First as a project, but now as a separate company and an online community full of practical tools and knowledge for food forest owners.

Marinucci Cristiano

Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels d’Occitanie, France
After studying Natural Science at “La Sapienza” University of Rome, he spent more than 15 years in the African continent to understand and practice traditional agricultural skills in order to develop innovative agricultural technics adapted to climate change and local socio-economic and environmental context. He co-realized, in collaboration with beneficiaries, partners and land owners, dozens of productive landscape designs, based on agroecology and permaculture methodology and principles. He participates in the training of local farmers and in the implementation process of innovative vegetable production systems, including some agroforestry experimentation plots in arid and semi-arid climates. In the last 2 years he has been working at Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels of Occitan Region, based on Montpellier, France, as technical and scientific expert of agroecology to support regional farmers in the ecological transition. He is realising agroecological infrastructures assessment and analysis, designing Mediterranean agroforestry systems and experimenting new nature-inspired technical itinerary to conciliate agricultural production needs and regional landscape and biodiversity conservation goals.

Martin Crawford

Agroforestry Research Trust, UK
Martin founded the Agroforestry Research Trust in 1992 and continues as Director, managing the 20 acres of trial grounds (including plant nursery) as well as running tours and courses based mainly on our sites., In this presentation he gives some tips on setting up the infrastructure for a plant nursery.

Martijn Aalbrecht

De Voedselboss, The Netherlands
Martijn started a food forest in the Netherlands in 2011, making it one of the pioneers. He is now a food forest teacher and designer of both large-scale and smaller food forests. In addition to his romantic food forest, he has a production food forest and a passive greenhouse with climate battery that contains a tropical food forest.

Max de Corte

Coöperative Ondergrond, The Netherlands
With more than 12 years of permaculture design and entrepreneurship experience Max has focused on Food Forests and Edible Forest Gardens the last 9 years. He has designed and/or developed more than 30 perennial edible locations (together with other Food Forest professionals). 3 years ago he initiated a professional organisation around these topics called Coöperative Ondergrond. At this moment there are 7 entrepreneurs working together in the coöperative. In the city of Rotterdam they've developed more than 15 Forest Garden locations which function as one big decentral City Food Forest Farm. Max is also involved in bigger agricultural food forests in the countryside from 5 to 14 hectares (designed for larger scale food production). He runs a small outdoor shiitake mushroom farm, teaches and trains food forest (design) and designs & implements green schoolyards for primary educations in the Rotterdam area.

Maxime Leloup

Association L'Etre Végétal, Silva domestica project
Maxime Leloup first studied math and at some point got interested in plants, particularly wild edible ones and forest gardens. He co-translated Permaculture in a Nutshell and then studied botany and economic botany at the “Collège Pratique d’Ethnobotanique” for 3 years. This experience led him to practice commercial WEP harvesting for 7 years, besides teaching plant identification and uses. Stepping aside towards his first appeal for research, he recently graduated in geography with a master’s thesis about territorial evolution and forest gardens in France. He focuses his reflection on human-plant interaction, from the individual scale such as wild plant harvesting and tending, to the system scale that people practice in ecosystem domestication and forest gardening. He's currently involved in field research and development at the French agroforestry association.

Michael Hulet

Semisto, Belgium
Michael is creating a place in Belgium where minds and hands converge to enable and accelerate the emergence of resilient ecosystems with ultra-positive impact for humans, soil and biodiversity. Whether we are talking about agroforestry, edible forests or forest gardens, these spaces are the shape of tomorrow's agriculture if we are to give more autonomy, strength and peace to future generations. This place will welcome citizen trainees, teachers, entrepreneurs and public service employees, but will also spread online through the dissemination of content and the design of hybrid face-to-face and online masterclasses for agriculture and livestock professionals. Garden foresters, nurserymen, landscapers, webdesigners or community managers will develop a range of tools that will allow everyone to learn, to be in action and to disseminate their new knowledge and to be an actor of a paradigm shift.

Nickie Bartlett

National Forest Gardening Scheme, UK
I’m a doctor, a Mum and a gardener amongst many other things. I was first introduced to Forest Gardening on an introduction to permaculture course in 2019 by a local grower. I love the systemic nature of Forest Gardening and particularly the way developing community forest gardens together, can support the health and well-being of local people in so many different ways.

Nicola Peel

Rainforest Saver, UK/Ecuador
Nicola Peel has spent 20 years working in the Ecuadorean Amazon on a number of environmental and social projects. In 2016 she started work with the UK based charity Rainforest Saver. Connecting with an agricultural college in the Amazon we were the first organisation to start using the native inga edulis in a form of agroforestry known as alley cropping. Our mission is to prevent deforestation and alleviate poverty by regenerating soil. We are having remarkable results in our comparison plots. Turning abandoned cattle fields into fertile growing spaces where the farmers have been growing a variety of crops such as maize, beans and cassava and coffee and cacao. Asides from increasing yield we have also noticed a resistance to cacao pod rot which could be a game changer for the industry. Reading University will soon be sending a Phd student to research our findings. We are looking into the difference in soil biodiversity, mycorrhizae, biochar from our pollarded wood, carbon sequestration and the social and environmental benefits of not using agrochemicals alongside our original mission of preventing deforestation.

Nicolaas Geijer

Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland, The Netherlands
My name is Nicolaas Geijer, I’m 25 years old and proud to be managing a young food forest of 6.3 hectares (Voedselbos Baarle-Nassau) together with my partner Marcia Arredondo. We aim to make a living with our food forest while at the same time creating a place with more water, more green and more life. Besides our food forest I work with landowners (mostly farmers) to develop project/business plans for food forests and other agroforestry practices. I help farmers articulate their food forest ideas and ambitions and I develop these into concrete plans either for themselves, or for them to use in conversation with governments, organizations and investors. I also do research into the economics and profitability of large-scale food forests at the University of Utrecht. At this Food Forest Symposium I am co-presenting the HAS 4.0 food forest calculation tool, which I use both professionally and as a researcher.

Rachel Hammond

Edge Landscaping, UK
Rachel Hammond grew up with Grandparents in Jersey who produced most of their own food, including bees, chickens, fruit and veg. Having lived in Todmorden for 5 years - the homeplace of Incredible Edible - Rachel was inspired by the idea of urban food production and when she returned to Oxford in 2012 she set up Incredible Edible Oxford. The group created edible spaces in parks and gardens across the city which led to the running of training workshops and requests for design help with people's spaces and local authority / social housing schemes. Incredible Edible Oxford formed legally in 2018 as not-for-profit social enterprise "edge" (edibles: design, grow, educate) with the intention of formalising the training and design process and working on larger projects, increasing the impact of edible landscaping. In 2020, Rachel completed her Masters in Urban Design, moving her into the professional industry with a desire to share her knowledge and support other designers in incorporating food crops into public realm landscapes. In 2021, Rachel completed her Landscape Architecture Masters and now works with professionals and practices across the UK, offering consultancy and CPD on productive landscapes and urban food production.

Renaud Maroy

Renaud Maroy has been a scientist in applied mathematics in medical imaging at the Atomic Research Agency (France) for 20 years. He the cofounded Angels Share, an French environmental start-up proposing a solution for the capture of aging spirits angels’ share, inside which he acted as R&D Manager for three years. He now devote his time, freelance, to solutions related to Global Warming, water collection and irrigation, and food forests. It current works is a software intended to help full experts to complete neophytes designing, plant and maintain optimal food forests, perform harvest within them and centralize data for scientists in permaculture. The designed food forest would be optimal in terms of CO2 sequestration, productivity (food all year, a wide range of basic items, fuel wood and logwood) plant needs (nutrients, sunlight, soil…), ecosystem services (protection against diseases and pests, companionship…), resilience, space occupation (roots and branch), harvest (plants grouped by recipes) but also user defined criteria (aesthetics, food taste, living spaces…). The constraints applied to the algorithm will be the topography of the field, the location and geometrical description of any human construct and the location of any existing and kept plant. He is the author of numerous articles, 11 patents and history books (“Pavillon Noir” (“Black Flag”), a book range on historical piracy).

Rob Paton

Paton Agroforestry, UK
I was born into a conventional farming family, with not enough land to make a living from farming conventionally. The farm has been in permanent pasture since the late 1980’s with mainly suckler cattle. I was encouraged to look away from the farm for my “career” and I flitted from jobs such as a cardiac technician, general farm work and even factory work, where I lovingly assembled pregnancy testing kits…! This all culminated in the realisation that I had to do something related to farming and I went to College in 2001 to study Agriculture. Following a few less than glowing years in academia, more notable for my intense study of the fermented products of farming (particularly barley!), as opposed to husbandry and cultivation techniques, I managed to scrape a pass in my degree. My defining moment came in 2018, when we had no rain for four months, our grass burned off and I had to buy £13k of feed to rear 20 calves that should have been eating free grass! The need for shade within pasture became painfully obvious, both for forage growth and animal welfare and I began researching silvopasture and implemented an alley grazing system between rows of 120 grafted walnut trees. Further research revealed the complex world of agroforestry, permaculture and holistic planned grazing and regenerative farming and I have been hooked on providing more tree cover throughout my pastures ever since.

Robert Guyton

New Zealand
Robert Guyton grows everything that’s willing, in his forest garden in Riverton on the south coast of the South Island of New Zealand. He is presently, and has been for the past 12 years or so, a columnist for The New Zealand Gardener magazine. This combination of pursuits allows Robert to engage a great many people in the intimate details of the development of his woodland and he believes sharing this experience could help the movement progress significantly.

Robin Gurney

Natural Chaga / Pillapalu Forest Retreat, Estonia
I am on a journey of discovery when it comes to Agroforestry and on a mission too: To show that forest owners can make a sustainable income from their land without cutting down trees. I’m nearly 60 and before I “go” I hope to share a blueprint so others can be inspired and adapt our model. I have started by developing a kind of circular economy through our family business, Natural Chaga in Estonia. Our property, Pillapalu Forest Retreat accepts groups looking for a peaceful break or a place to team build. We also run foraging and chaga workshops there, introducing people to medicinal herbs, plants and mushrooms. I study and experiment (a lot!) and make certified organic chaga (and other medicinal mushroom) products which we export throughout Europe. Each element feeds the other. The venue helps promote the products and workshops and vice versa. The birch is my first forest love. It’s an amazing tree - a source of food, medicine, fuel, and craft materials. I’m participating in this amazing event to share, learn, and find active collaborators and partners so please get in touch if you see a way we might work together.

Sano Kaori

Niimi Agroforestry project, Japan
Niimi Agroforestry project is an experimental creating forest garden project in Japan, took a first step in October, 2020. The main purpose of the project is to introduce Agroforestry in temperate climate concept into a rural area of Japan, which struggle with depopulation and devastated land. The producer of the project, Kaori Sano, has a passion of exploring sustainable lifestyle on a small community scale, and she traveled around the world to find it out for about 2 years. That was the time she encountered forest garden, and the forest garden design course by Martin Crawford in 2019 became an opportunity of starting up the project, along with graduating from a faculty of landscape design at a university in 2022. She aims to design the site to be familiar with Japanese woodland as well as beautiful as the scenery and productive by leaning from surrounding woodland as a beginner of landscape architect.

Sophie Rostas Reeve

Ura Gora (Hurrah for the Forest), Bulgaria
I live in "Blagodatie" intentional community in Southern Bulgaria where we are using permaculture design and forest gardening to regenerate damaged ex agricultural land and create a demonstration centre and beautiful place to live. I am a founder of "Ura Gora" (Hurray for the Forest), our NGO which works with volunteers, children, youth groups and the public to educate and inspire around ecology, permaculture, off-grid life and forest gardening. I am also a core member of the "Roots n Permaculture" community, where we organise courses and workshops, create teaching resources and hold regular online events. I have a background in fine art sculpture and performance and am interested in creative ways to teach and share ideas around ecology and meeting our needs from forest gardens. I am engaged in developing our forest gardens and the creative use of its yields in cooking, preserves, medicines and art projects. I am interested in connecting with other forest gardeners in this region and beyond and sharing strategies for popularising these ideas.

Stefan fogelqvist

FrejaFoodForest, Sweden
Stefan has a masters education in environmental science focusing on forest gardens/ food forests. My work experience is growing in a farming family worked with farms in Sweden, Australia and China. Now I run a company developing and establishing forest gardens with the focus of benefiting the client, society and nature. For me forest gardens/ food forests are one of the few solutions that tackles economic, social and environmental challenges and is crucial for our civilization to manage present and future threats. It also so beautiful how its benefits individuals with wealth/ health, society with a good economic base and ecosystem services and at the same time gives a living space to other life forms. It’s the perfect balance for nature and humans to find coexisting and harmony and forest gardens is a way for me to express my love for this planet.

Stefanie Albrecht

Stefanie Albrecht is a sustainability scientist that has worked on soil, agriculture, urban development and sustainability transformations. Within her PhD on “Developing Sustainable Food Forests - Key Features, Success Factors & Transdisciplinary Partnerships” at Leuphana University Lüneburg (2017-2022), she created a database of ~200 food forests, visited and interviewed 20 sites in Europe as well as North and South American, and then initiated 2 sites. Both are under development, one is located in temperate Lüneburg, Germany at Hof an den Teichen (1ha) and another one is developed by the Food Forest Cooperative (0,5ha) in semi-arid Phoenix, Arizona, US. Besides scientific publications, the practical material of this journey is being published in a handbook to support the economic dimension of food forests.

Stephen Barstow

The Edible Garden, Norway
Stephen’s house and garden (The Edible Garden) is located at 63.4N near to Trondheim in Norway. He has devoted 40 years to trialling over 6,000 different edible plants, most of them perennials grown in what can be recognized as a forest garden. He has a particular fondness for what he calls edimentals (or edible ornamentals), edible weeds and onions (the genus Allium). As a young vegetarian in the 80s he was told it would be too cold to grow vegetables, but now believes it’s one of the best places in the world to grow vegetables! His megasalads, consisting of 537 species in 2003, a winter salad with 140, a ferment with 412 plants, a pesto with 230 types of onion, all inspired by traditional Mediterranean multi-species dishes, earned him the title "Extreme Salad Man". Stephen’s book "Around the World in 80 plants ", an inspiring edible adventure across the continents, was published in the UK in 2014.

Stijn Heijs

Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland, The Netherlands
Stijn Heijs is a self-employed interim turn-around manager for managing change in underperforming companies in the profit sector. Stijn is a son of a supermarket entrepreneur and has a long experience in managing agrifood chains. He studied mechanical engineering and business administration, marketing. After his study he acted mostly as commercial and or managing director of agrifood companies in several countries in Europe. Beside his professional work Stijn has been very active in nature conservation and environment. He was president of a nature working group and forest management. He is initiator and board director of a solar energy cooperative. Since 2016 he develops his own food forest of 1,3 ha and he coordinates a network of food forests owners in the south east of the Netherlands. Since 2020 Stijn joined the board of the Food Forest Foundation in The Netherlands with a focus on business models for food forests and food forest harvest sales.

Stuart Hall

I was born in 1956 to a farming family in the Cotswolds. I loved it, this was absolutely what I wanted to do with my life. As with many of my contemporaries, my parents tried to dissuade me from farming as a career. I persevered, going to Agricultural College then working in the mid 70’s on a 1,400 acre estate, dairy and cereals, milking 200 cows. Becoming more and more automated, just another factory, I’d had enough. My parents then sold the family farm, I managed to keep just 3 acres. With visions of an orchard I began planting fruit trees, seeking out rare and diverse varieties, whilst managing my father’s 11 acre wood that I’d laid down for him and the family. By the 2000’s my field was now full of trees and shrubs-a woodland encircled within a traditional hedge, an amazing ecosystem of flora and fauna. This became an obsession, underplanting with anything that took my fancy. Then discovering Forest Gardening and Robert Hart was a revelation! Along with Martin Crawford and a few other specialised nurseries everything came together....this fitted perfectly with my utopian vision for this small patch of land...an oasis of life.

Tish Kerkham

Marlpit Community Garden (Sustainable Living Initiative), UK
As a child I preferred climbing trees to cultivating my small flower and vegetable plot. It wasn’t until I grew up and we took on an allotment as a family that I started to grow food seriously. A visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales was an eye-opener. Mingled fruit, flowers and veg were flourishing together above a disused slate quarry. The journey continued with my introduction to permaculture in Uganda by an Australian who was supplying orphanages with saplings to grow their own fruit. Back in England I volunteered right from the initial set up of the seven acre Marlpit Community Garden, an offshoot of the Sustainable Living Initiative in Norwich. As part of the project, I also learnt about beekeeping. When our organiser asked if I would like to go on a course to develop a forest garden as part of the site, my response was, “Yes please. What’s that? On checking out the Agroforestry Research Trust website, I found what I didn’t know I had been looking for. It all made sense. This was how I wanted to grow crops. The introductory course at Dartington in 2014 was inspirational and turned out to be the first step towards the productive, beautiful, wild-life friendly communal forest garden that we love to work and relax in today.

Tomas Remiarz

The Permaculture Association, UK
Tomas Remiarz has designed, planted and researched forest gardens since 1996. He is author of Forest Gardening in Practice, the first comprehensive review of temperate forest gardens in print.

Trees De Bruyne

bARK.today, Belgium
For Trees, Covid-19 not only turned the world upside down but also a number of events in her family where people literally pulled the plug made her think. Her fear that the climate debate will be completely snowed under also worried her. It started with a ‘Garden Design’ training and a lot of research and browsing to be able to make a smart contribution with her own garden. If necessary, it can be self-supporting so that at least you always have bread on the table. After some research she came across a documentary of Robert Hart, a pioneer in food forests. He set to work on the concept on about 500m2 of land ‘food forest’. This form of ‘lazy gardening’ has long proven its worth. You not only draw the map of biodiversity but in the meantime that edible forest also brings treats to the table for humans and animals. We are now about 30 years later and his ‘life’s work’ has already inspired many people. Robert Hart died in 2000. But we are happy to continue his work.

Yann Boulestreau

Yann Boulestreau is a passionate young agronomist specialized in agroecology and regenerative agriculture, originating from France. He discovered the world of food forests thanks to Wouter Van Eck, in 2016, at Ketelbroek, during his studies in Wageningen University (Netherlands). With Wouter’s support, Yann created a rational model design for Dutch farmers and modeled its outcome in terms of yield, nutritional carrying capacity and sales. Yann continued his studies with a work on regenerative arable cropping and a Ph.D. on participatory methods to foster agroecological transition of large-scale vegetable farmers, along with their food system partners. These studies and several farming experiences provided Yann with a global vision of the different existing plant-based agricultural systems and their potential to move to regenerative systems, while providing with enough food and farmer’s income. In early 2021, Yann moved with his partner to her family farm in North Germany, where they started farming together. They are now transitioning the farm toward regenerative systems, including food forest systems. Besides his farmer’s activities, Yann is consulting to facilitate the transition of farmers and food system organizations, and is teaching about regenerative farming, agroecology and transitions at the nearby Leuphana University.

Wouter van Eck

Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland (Foundation Food Forestry Netherlands) & Food Forest Ketelbroek, The 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 this 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 media, numerous lectures and courses in both the Netherlands and Belgium


Please note: Speakers may change due to circumstances beyond our control. Refunds of symposium fees will not be made due to a particular speaker cancelling. 

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Martin is founder and Director of the Agroforestry Research Trust