These are the wonderful people who have already attended one of our Creating a Forest Garden courses. Thanks to them all for being guinea pigs on this brand new programme of study, offering their enthusiasm and expertise and giving valuable feedback along the way.
First, meet Richard Vials. He attended the very first course and has gone on to be a major influence at ELL, redesigning our showcase bed, propagating many of our plants and leading groups of volunteers. He's also an energetic board member. "Forest gardening combines food growing, wildlife gardening and community into one, and it is my greatest passion!"
Kim Harrison is currently doing an MA in Art therapy, she did CAFG#1 and says, "I miss my time at ell (having been a volunteer for a year or so before the course), it's such a refuge in he city and helps me feel grounded and like i'm doing something meaningful and productive. it''s lovely to be outdoors and get hands on. i'm planning to come back to ell over the summer holidays because i'll finally have time :-)"
Stephanie Boussion did the first course, and went on to present on the second and third courses. She says, "I like being in nature, reading, cooking and doing things with my boys. I enjoyed the course more than anything else, the scientific and organic approach has opened for me a whole range of interests in agroforestry, sustainability and food security that I will pursue and hopefully turn into a new career path."
Sarah Bush is another CAFG#1 gal. She has taught on CAFG#3.
Maïa Sparrow was a student on CAFG #2 and taught and assessed on plant propagation for CAFG #3. She uses what she learned all the time! She now runs the education programme at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, which includes a forest garden, but can also be found doing plant ID and foraging with kids at a nature-based After School Club in Stockwell. In her spare time she's wild about wild foods and medicines and learned plenty about that on the CAFG course
From Gilly Birch (CAFG#2). I love growing my garden, myself, my children and my community. The CaFG course has been an inspiration and a perfect growing medium to support this.
Rasheeqa Ahmad is a superstar. She did a herbal talk for CAFG#3.
Carrie Anker did the second course and did some marking on CAFG#3 and #4: I like pottering around in my garden, spending time with friends and family, and camping in the middle of nowhere! The CAFG course was great, and it’s opened my eyes to the wonders of plants and soil.
This is the very dependable Alex Sylvester from CAFG#2. He has also taught on subsequent courses. "Forest gardening is ace! What better way to nourish ourselves, build up soils and provide a refuge for wildlife in a beautiful, low-maintenance, self-sustaining system. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and the great group of students. Now I get involved turning the ELL compost heap and mulching galore! Yes!" Alex is also a director of ELL.
Lovely Les Coupland who attended CAFG#2....
This is Jerome Itzler. He did some teaching for the CAFG#3 course.
And supercool Selena Chandler attended CAFG#2 and did some marking for CAFG#3 and #4.
ELL director, Patrick Maher, says that forest gardening is "the way forward" and we are inclined to agree! He supports our efforts by volunteering regularly and being an active member of the board.
And now here's the first of the CAFG#3 crowd. Introducing: Alison Roberts. I love to create!!! A sanctuary letting my imagination hold the paintbrush on a blank garden canvas. I’m a Rambler (in more ways than one, sorry) and volunteer in nature conservation and garden projects to meet new people and learn from others. This is The best course I have ever been on, taken a vast amount of new information and experience away with me I hope to put it to good use.
Yay it's Chris Speirs from #3: I love being outdoors, working with others to sculpt more productive and engaging green spaces, foraging, cycling and campaigning for climate justice.
The course has been really inspiring. I learnt so much and met so many wonderful people. The knowledge and networks will enable me to develop more sustainable earth and people care programmes in my work with the The Conservation Volunteers Green Gym and through the other networks and organisations I am involved with. Chris has taught on CAFG#4.
And the splendiferous Christine Way: I live in Norwich and am helping with a Permaculture project on a 12.5 acre site on the edge of the city. I am currently planning a forest garden on the site.
And this is the lovely Freya Warner Morgan
Haruulah it's Lorena Vila. She went on to teach on CAFG#4.
ooh, and it's Lucy Nacson Jones. Also taught on CAFG#4. "I juggle many environmentally related jobs ranging from teaching to gardening in outdoor settings. I love bringing people back to nature. I've worked with Sarah Bush from CAFG#1, Rasheeqa Ahmad from CAFG#2 and I plan on doing a forest garden with Lorena Vila in the local area. I've been managing the forest garden at the Castle Climbing Centre.
This is Mary McHugh, featured in the Observer here....
and this is Nick Turner. Nick has plans to get the CAFG course online, so people can learn the course on a blended course - part face to face and part online.
Last but not least, Rod Sazio who showed us around the Brockwell Park Community Nursery as part of our tutorial visits on CAFG#3: I enjoy volunteering my time and energy to community projects with a nature focus. I am also on a steep learning curve as I become a more active participant in the party of creation. In this way I am grateful to have had this opportunity to attend CAFG#3 and intend to apply as much as I can both at home and at my local community garden.
Damian was on CAFG#4 and is working on a massive forest garden for Hackney near the Marshes at Mabley Green www.mableygreen.org. The first planting should happen early in 2016 so all help much appreciated by skilled forest gardeners! Skills developed on the course include Xtreme Minibussing and Latin scholarship.
Hi I'm Vicky. I've just completed the fourth course. Really delighted that I got the chance to do it. I'm just about to start a placement as a trainee gardener and feel that the course might have helped me get the placement and that it will help me with further training. It's really exciting because they have a forest garden but they don't know it yet!