When we think of a garden, often what comes to mind is an open plot of soil positioned in direct sunlight. When we envision a forest, we generally picture a light-blocking canopy of trees obstructing the growth of sun-hungry plants with dense branches and leaves. Rather than viewing trees as a disconnected part of the landscape, forest gardening incorporates trees as a defining element, integrating their role within the gardening landscape. Not only do food forests supply a host of ecological benefits, their productivity far surpasses that of traditional annual farming crop harvests making them a desirable model for garden design.
Using trees as the foundational element of the garden encourages a sustainable landscape that is low maintenance and easy to execute regardless of acreage or terrain. There are copious varieties of trees to choose from, each with unique benefits and functions such as edibility of fruits, nuts, berries, flowers, and roots, sourcing for herbal medicine, soil building through nitrogen fixing and erosion control, insectary protection from pests, increased pollination and habitat creation for wildlife. Currently, a project to develop a food forest inspired edible restoration landscape at Horn Farm is underway! Some of the featured species in our edible restoration landscape may include: chestnut, hickory, American plum, apple, pear, pecan, serviceberry, black cherry, hackberry, and mulberry.
To begin, we will focus on the design aspect of a food forest, highlighting the various types of trees and shrubs that can be used, as well as their heights, shapes, spacing and light requirements, all of which should be taken into consideration when organizing the forest garden layout. Once we master configuration, the class will take a hands-on approach to learning by participating in a tree planting using some of the aforementioned species to practice agroforestry skills and help to expand the food forest at the Horn Farm.
About the Instructor: Wilson Alvarez
Wilson Alvarez is a certified permaculture designer, inventor, gardener, skilled tracker, bowyer, nature-awareness instructor, and writer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For the past fourteen years, he has taught classes and workshops on bio-intensive agriculture, regenerative technology, foraging, hunting, trapping, tracking, and wilderness survival. Wilson has studied through the Wilderness Awareness School via the Kamana program, and he received his Permaculture Design Certificate via Susquehanna Permaculture. At the Horn Farm Center, Wilson serves as the lead land steward and educator. He teaches classes, workshops, and the Land Steward Training Program.
This class will take place outdoors. Please check the weather in advance and dress accordingly. Be prepared for walking on uneven terrain and potentially snowy and/or muddy conditions.
All programs are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances including inclement weather. Participants will receive an email in the days preceding the program for any changes or cancellations. You can review our current Cancellation and Refund Policy here.
Parking takes place in the field above the farmhouse
York, PA 17406