Food forester advocates ‘gardening for a thousand years’

Maybe you've heard of food forests. Maybe you've read the recent UN report recognizing perennials as essential in creating sustainable food sources.

FOOD FORESTER Richard Walker will speak at Innisfree Farm this Friday about food forest gardening.

FOOD FORESTER Richard Walker will speak at Innisfree Farm this Friday about food forest gardening.

Maybe you’ve heard of food forests. Maybe you’ve read the recent UN report recognizing perennials as essential in creating sustainable food sources.

Or maybe you already know what many gardeners have discovered. Food forest gardening provides food, fibre, fuel and medicine with lower maintenance and cost over time.

Whatever you’ve heard, food forest gardening is a method of gardening based on natural forest systems that, when mature, need little input, like fertilizing, watering or maintenance.

Food forester Richard Walker will speak at Innisfree Farm this Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. This is a public event with no need to pre-register. There will be a $10 charge at the gate.

Richard will present his work and the concepts of food forest gardening in a 90-minute presentation, and he will answer your questions. He will expand on his evening presentation in a two-day workshop Saturday and Sunday again at Innisfree Farm.

This workshop has been popular and sold out quickly several times in Victoria, so make sure to register early. Information on the material covered during the workshop, schedule and cost, is on the farm website www.innisfreefarm.ca or call 250-336-8768.

Walker is a food forester, herbalist and teacher with over 25 years experience, who designs community and private forest gardens throughout B.C.

He spent his early years as an organic farmer in Alberta. He later moved to Grand Forks, where over 20 years he transformed his three-acre property from a bare horse pasture into a lush self-sustaining forest garden with over 400 nut trees with lots of food and medicine-bearing perennial plants and vines.

Having converted a degraded piece of land into an abundant mix of rare, unique nut, fruit and medicinal plants from all over the world, he is one of Canada’s most experienced food foresters.

Richard shares his studied and practical experience in a respectful and approachable manner that will inspire you and save you years of trial and error. He also has a great depth of herbal medicine knowledge and he shares this knowledge to promote healthy living through the philosophy of food and herbs as medicine.

What really adds to Richard’s credibility is that he lives as he teaches. He lives simply, creatively using his skills to bring food from the soil, to the table, and in doing so teaches us how food and plants create a culture of true sustainability. In his own words “gardening for a thousand years.”

He loves to share this vision as a model for communities and individuals who are inspired to grow themselves in environmentally friendly, self-sustaining ways.

—Innisfree Farm

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