Global Earth Repair Conference


May 3, 2019 - May 5, 2019

Related Publication

How to Guide for a Community Food Forest

This handbook is designed to help you build a micro food forest tied to your community. It is the culmination of a program put together by the Cowichan Green Community to design a community food forest on a steep, underutilized space around their urban building.

This publication was produced by Cowichan Green Community.

50% of the proceeds from the sale of this publication goes directly back to Cowichan Green Community's efforts.

Learn more and purchase this guide.

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May 3, 2019 - May 5, 2019
All Day


This course completely exceeded my information expectations in every way.

Todd Gesshe - Cowichan Valley


Hello and welcome,

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 realized what many gardeners, farmers and people around have discovered...

Food Forest gardening provides food, fiber, 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 to no fertilizing, watering or maintenance.


Thanks for the great first experience. I look forward to taking more PBC courses.

Jason Barber - Natural Builder - Shawnigan Lake, BC


Poppy-cock you say?

Not at all! And here's the person to show you.

Richard Walker comes with over 25 years of experience as a food foresterlandscape designer,herbalist and instructor. In 1984 he started one of Canada'a first food forests in Grand Forks, BC. During that time Dragon's Eye Nursery was born from his assembled food forest.

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, or in his own words gardening for one thousand years”.

Last year Richard presented three sold-out courses , this year his last workshop sold out in 5 days. And we still have a waiting list from all three courses.

After informing a friend she asked, "Okay so do I have to start saving now? It's going to be like $800, right?"

Nope. Not even close. Half that!



Theory and Practical Workshop - Level 1 Food Forestry

Friday April 8th, 2016 7:30 - 9pm

Saturday through Tuesday, April 9-12th, 2016 9am-5pm


Galiano Learning Center

Galiano Conservancy Association,

Galiano Island, BC




Early Bird (really does get the worm...)

$350 + GST Untill March 1, 2016


$400 + GST After March 1, 2016


Locals Rate

Please note that there is a local to Galiano Island tuition level that can be accessed by contacting the Galiano Conversation Association directly.



Registration for this course is through the Galiano Conservation Association. The instructors and Permaculture BC are not registering participants for this event.


Click here to Register.


Organized, jam/packed, weekend with good balance of information and exploration--well facilitated and teachers well sourced.

Pollen Heath - Builder - Gabriola Island, BC


Still need more convincing?

Here's a few reasons why taking this course will be the course to add to your planting skills and life....

1 - Course Instructors, Richard Walker and Javan K. Bernakevitch

Richard started as an organic farmer, west of Edmonton in near Hinton in Alberta. Not an easy task in the early 70's in conservative Alberta. He applied his organic farming skills to 3 acres of bare horse pasture where 25 years later stood a lush self-sustaining forest garden. With over 400 nut trees, seven stories of food, fiber, fuel and medicinal bearing perennial plants and vines, this is a, if not was the, premier food forest in Canada.

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. We are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to learn from Richard. He's a practicing gardener, plant breeder and herbalist.


His food forest was and is so successful that as students we can save years of trial and error by learning from him. This course attracts some of the leaders in the fields of permaculture, organic gardening, food forestry, urban homesteading and sustainability. The wealth of knowledge brought by the course participants will add to this unique opportunity to learn, share and network with others involved in regenerative land care.


Richard gives information for our canadian climate, when he showed pictures of his food forest in the snow, I knew I was in the right course. Richards knowledge of food forestry was everything I was hoping for - incredible.
If you are going to be establishing a food forest of any size, I would highly recommend spending some time with Richard Walker.

Bruce Cayford - Electronics Technician - Walkerton, ONT


Javan K. Bernakevitch has worked across coastal and interior British Columbia, Canada, The Unites States of America (North West and North Central), Cuba, Kenya and  Uganda on land based project design, management, training and installation. His career focus on regenerative retrofits of broad acre and small scale landscapes to re-establish working watersheds, ecosystems, productive landscapes and enterprises has taken him across North and Central America, Europe and Africa.

Integrating Keyline Design, Holistic Management, Permaculture, the Soil Food Web, Myco-Integration and more he understands and emphasizes the importance of biological systems: soil, water-harvesting, landscape re-hydration, composting, growing food, greywater and biological waste-water treatment.

The originator of Cultivated Life Design he works with clients focusing their lives to bring regenerative enterprises and productive landscapes to life. He operates Permaculture BC (www.permaculturebc.com) an education and community hub for permaculture in British Columbia and All Points Land Design focusing on land design and installation.


As a speaker for community events, non-profit groups and businesses Javan inspires and empowers audiences with a passion for change. He has been invited to guest lecture by the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, Simon Fraser University and recent partnerships include Cowichan Green Community, Seven Ravens Permaculture Academy and the Galliano Conversation Association.


Click here to Register.

2 - Dragon's Eye Nursery

If Richard made a small half back-lot food forest with 10 years of succession and success that would be something... but he accomplished a little more than that. In 25 years he experimented and succeed in creating not only a self-sustaining food forest but also two businesses that were supported by that forest, Dragon's Eye Nursery and his own herbal dispensary.

Here's a real world example of permaculture, organic gardening and food forestry not only producing food for the assembler but also viable income. Next time someone tells you that making a living at growing plants is only for large factory farms and Monsanto (first ask them to never say the M word again) and then tell them the story of Richard Walker.

You of course will be able to tell them the full story because you'll have taken the course... if there's space left. 🙂


3 - Bio-Regionally Specific Workshop Content

So you've liked what you've read thus far but now you’re thinking, like most prospective permaculture students, "But Richard's from interior BC, it's a desert out there, he won't have any good suggestions for the islands?"

Oh contraire dear reader, Richard has continued to demonstrate his experience through helping food forest aficionados from all of Western Canadian. From the islands, mainland, northern BC, interior deserts, mountainous country to foothills and prairies Richard has the ability to see the patterns in a region, to truly see the forest for the trees, and design functioning fruitful ecosystems.

Like permaculture, the principles that Richard instructs are applicable to all regions. His $1000 tips for 1000 years of gardening help extend growing seasons, and bring fruit and nut trees to bear in half the regular time, are simply incredible.

Co-instructor Javan has worked on coastal food forests for the last 5 years and brings a host of experience from working on large and small scale perennial food forest systems.

What can you expect during this workshop?

Evening Introduction Talk

The roots of Agriculture and it's implications on us today

Why standing upright to produce food is important

5 tips that will save you time, money and energy growing perennials and medicine


Workshop topics will include:

Site Analysis

Introduction to Keyline Design - Scale of Permanence and Geometry

Design and Site Planning

Compost Theory and Practice

Site Prep

Species Selection

Virtual Tour of Dragon's Eye Nursery one of Canada's oldest and most productive Food Forests

Case Studies from Kenya, Cuba, West Coast of Canada and the Okanagan



Further Species Selection

Nurseries and how to chose good plants

Compost Theory and Practice

Case Study - Galiano Conservation Association Bench Food Forest

Hands on Whip and Tongue and Bud Grafting

Extra time to answer students site specific questions


Pilot Production Food Forest Introduction


Safety Overview

Site Overview

Workflow Brief

Ergonomic Tool Direction

Bed Preparations

Hole Amendments

Making Compost Tea

Site Troubleshooting

Click here to Register.

4 - Student Feedback

It's one thing for me to tell you why Richard's workshop is worth every single penny but it's quite another to hear it from student of his past Workshops:


After the first hour I felt as though I not only got my money's worth, I felt like I had won the lottery.

Erin Rafuse

Click here to read students' testimonials of the last courses on instructor Richard Walker, facilitator Javan Kerby Bernakevitch and Permaculture BC.


GAIA or Permaculture Graduates?

If you've taken any of Gaia College's courses or a Permaculture Design Certificate, do not be dissuaded by the overlap of some of the course topics (i.e. grafting, compost tea, and other topics that you may have covered). Richard's sheer amount of knowledge and experienceas well as his focus on medicinal plant use and quick and simple tincture creation will add to your skills and confidence to assemble your own food forest.

Not to mention another instructor's point of view is invaluable to avoid inbreeding of habits and thought patterns.


The highlight for me was learning how to graft trees, plant propagation and the importance of understanding the stratification of seeds for certain plant species.

Jill Waldron - Artist - Victoria, BC


So why chose to spend two and half days in February learning about food forestry?

  1. 1.It will give you the design tools andplant lists to begin assembling your own food forest.
  1. An experienced instructorwith over a quarter century of creating productive forests.
  1. Everything you need to know tostart making your own tinctures with the least amount of time and effort.
  1. Time to ask Richard about starting your own business based on permaculture,organic gardening and food forestry. Permaculture that pays!
  1. Network with fellow students and leaders in the fields of organic landcare and permaculture.
  1. Be part of truly local positive action-based solutions that are fruitful(pun most definitely intended). 
  1. The value of the total workshop would be over $1300 if you were to take each subject as an individual workshop.

Compost Workshop $75

Compost Tea Workshop $75

Grafting Workshop $75

Site Analysis Workshop $75

Species Selection Workshop $100

Soils Workshop $100

Planting Workshop $50

Private Consultation with Richard or Javan $150/hour

Mulching Workshop $75

Work-flow & project management $75

Herbal workshop $150

Tincture Workshop $75

Brix metering Workshop $50

Bokashi Workshop $50

Earthworks and design Workshop $150

Site Layout Workshop $125


One other aspect to keep in mind is you'll be able to learn one of the most important aspects.... distilled wisdom from those who've spent the time, money and energy gaining experience and making mistakes. And all of that will be presented for you to take with you.

I hope to see you in class and please do register soon. This course sold out in 5 days last fall, and we have a waiting list from last year and that workhsop.

There's a lot of interest in the course. It's gonna be great. Looking forward to seeing you in class.

Treefully Yours,


Javan K. Bernakevitch


Click here to register. 

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