TRAINING

 

Informal training

We currently offer free and accessible training during our sessions. We run subsidised forest garden training, as well as a variety of workshops, with free places for volunteers. Subjects include grafting, foraging, preserves, permaculture, as well as skill-shares, which have proved popular. If you would like us to host a school group, please get in touch via our contact page. Workshops are advertised on our Facebook and Events pages.

During our Sunday sessions, new volunteers are offered a tour of the garden, a brief introduction to the subject of forest gardening, and to some of the specific plants and their uses. Relevant books are available in the greenhouse, volunteers can refer to these references once given an overview of the design process, permaculture techniques, and taught how to propagate perennials. We offer a specific induction process for our new session leaders, involving one-to one mentoring, if requested.

Accredited training

Edible Landscapes developed and delivered the first ever accredited forest gardening course. Our accredited training is currently on hold, while we negotiating a new agreement with Haringey council, enabling us to raise funds to run accredited training at affordable prices for the community. (For more information, see ‘Background’ section, below) Our accredited course is equivalent to a Level 2 RHS horticultural qualification.

 

 

Our teachers

We are a group of experienced teachers who are passionate about sharing their knowledge of plants and forest gardening. We love to help people learn and have fun at the same time. Some of us are DBS checked, working with both children and adults in London. Please get in touch if you would like to work with us, or for more  information.

Jo Homan

Jo Homan has been teaching people forest gardening skills since 2012 and in 2013, with the support of Jan Mulreany from the Brighton Permaculture Trust and Gemma Harris from Urban Harvest, she developed the first ever accredited forest garden course, Creating a Forest Garden (CAFG). She’s led 53 students through CAFG and has adapted the 15 day course into a one day taster, to make forest gardening accessible to larger numbers of people. Jo now works for The Orchard Project developing the new level 3 certificate in community orcharding. Jo’s favourite forest garden nibbles: lovage, saltbush and shasta daisy leaves; jostaberry, raspberry and medlar fruits; calendula, Judas tree and Allium flowers; and chestnut and acorn nuts. Jo was a primary school teacher, layout artist, print manager and childminder before setting up Transition Finsbury Park and then founding Edible Landscapes London. She also enjoys climbing, yoga and dancing.

Background

From 2012 we started to offer several training days covering topics like plant identification, taxonomy, plant propagation and tool care. Students could pay for their training by volunteering with us in advance. These courses were very popular and attendees were already fairly knowledgeable about plants, often having connections with existing food growing projects. The teachers were all involved in the project, leading volunteer session days, and we managed to develop a good ‘stock’ of teachers, lessons plans, confidence and experience. We offered training workshops at festivals and at events, for example at the Capital Growth summer networking event, and developed a reputation for our quality of horticultural training.

In 2013, and as part of the Manor House PACT project, we started to offer more formal accredited training, with the benefit of funding to pay for sessional tutors and a full time training manager.  Between 2013 and 2015 we offered 12 Permaculture Introductory courses, several accredited Plant Propagation training sessions, and four iterations of an exciting new course called ‘Creating a Forest Garden’. This was the first ever accredited forest garden course. The training was very reasonably priced and places were targeted at people who lived in the Manor House PACT area. Students were able to pay for training by volunteering with us at the equivalent rate of one day’s volunteering for one day’s training. As such, we broadened our outreach significantly, enabling 53 people to gain an accredited horticultural qualification. We also taught off site at the nearby Woodberry Grove garden and at the Castle Climbing Centre. In 2016 we were asked by the council to move site location, which meant that our training was put on hold. Now we are negotiating a new agreement to stay onsite, and working with the council to realise a new educational space and ‘eco-hub’, from which we can run new forms of training and outreach.