Food Forestry & Victoria Master Gardeners

A one day food forestry workshop with the Victoria Master Gardeners Association.


It was over 3 years ago that I was approached by the Victoria Master Gardeners Association to instruct a food forestry workshop. We were both keen however either I was going to Cuba or the Association had another speaker lined up.

Alas, it wasn't to be...

Until 6 months ago they tracked me down for a one day workshop. I had to admit the January time slot seemed a good fit... post the holidays folks are ready for something new come the first month of the year... why not a food forestry resolution?

It was planned and while I left a foot of snow and minus 12 degree temperatures in our little valley I arrived to what I've come to expect from Victoria - the unexpected.

Food Forestry Workshop

It was a gorgeous day at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific and I'll say this again in this post if you haven't been to the gardens there... plan the trip now!

I was astounded at the planning and practices at the centre. With a local Noorish Cafe how could one not head out... even if just for some lunch a sensory delight for the eyes, ears and nose?Cascadia Food Forests Booklet Single Page

The Japanese gardens are especially beautiful (I'm particular to the Bonsai Gardens as my partner is slowly educating me on the particulars of this ancient art form) and I was treated to a personal tour by Paula McCormick the coordinator Youth Programs at the centre.

The venue was beautiful and if you have a chance to take a class or host an event there I think you might enjoy the look.

The organizers from VMGA were astoundingly organized and I've never been so well treated as a presenter before. They even went so far as to make the All Points Land Design logo into a button for the "Master Class".

Over the day we discussed the history, form and function of food forestry and why it matters to plant trees and think about perennials in the garden for food production.

With an audience of what looked liked 60 people, more or less, I was impressed with the questions and knowledge of the gardeners.

Akebia Vine

I even had a gardener come up and offer cuttings of Akebia vine. For those interested there are some varieties of Akebia that are quite tasty with the smell of chocolate, the seeds are sweet and the rinds are used as a vegetable in Japan... there are some accounts of the leaf being edible.

Here's a little taste of what you can do with it.

With a photographer in the group they managed to capture the elusive Javanius Instructorus on film... not something that happens every day. My thanks to Anne Freitag for her photography.

For folks that are interested in food forestry projects here's a sample of a few I've be a part of... and you may want to see what food forestry workshops are upcoming.

Till next time...

Be Fruitful and Mulch Apply,

Javan "May the food forest be with you" Bernakevitch

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