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Forest Garden & Permaculture Design Course, Sat-Sun 9-10th & 16-17th March

Forest Garden & Permaculture Design Course, Sat-Sun 9-10th & 16-17th March


Aho Community is honoured to invite you to a collaboration with Rakesh “Rootsman Rak”. Join us in community over two weekends at Berkeley Farm in Hainault to connect to the land into bring you the knowledge and hands on experience to design and create a forest garden.


Rakesh “Rootsman Rak” is an experienced permaculture and forest gardening designer and teacher. He will coordinate all participants to help make a real forest garden design for Berkeley Farm. You will learn his design tools, learning the many tools Rakesh has in his permaculture and forest gardening toolbox.


We are all too well aware of the challenges the world faces, especially in our food growing systems. This course shows us how to address many of these issues by making low maintenance, nutrient dense, biodiverse rich food growing systems know as food forests or forest gardening. We will also add many additional features to the design using Permaculture design.


So if you are interested in ecology; helping to increase biodiversity; sequester carbon; manage greenhouse gases; cool your surroundings while growing nutrient dense foods, soaps, medicines, crafting materials, etc but with minimum effort i.e. where nature does the work, and enriches itself, then this course is for you.


First Weekend: Designing forest gardens
9th-10th March 2024, 9am-5pm


Imagine your garden or community space looking as lovely as a woodland edge. Imagine that on top of looking wonderfully wild, it produces an abundance of nutrient dense food and will ultimately need very little digging, weeding, manual watering or pest control - all in harmony with animals and other beings (eco friendly and vegan). This is ‘an edible forest garden’.


Forest gardening is a way of growing food where nature does most of the work for you. Modelled on natural woodland, crops are grown in different layers from high and medium sized canopy to roots, ground cover and climbers. And its not just food and medicine you will get from the forest garden, there are many more yields.


Through careful planning plants are chosen which have beneficial effects on each other, attract beneficial insects and create a healthy biodiverse rich system that maintains its own fertility. Once established, your main task will be harvesting!

The course is designed so you will learn how to make a forest garden anywhere, including your own home, while also making a real design for Berkeley Farm.


Over the 2 days you will learn about the basics of designing a forest garden. You will get to understand
- How to select the right plants for your environment
- Where to place them to ensure they thrive
- How to ensure you have the right nutrients cycling to ensure good crops
- History of forest gardening
- Why make a food forest
- Layout of a forest garden
- Multifunctional pathways
- Creating abundance and resilience
- Low maintenance food growing
- Patterns in nature for forest gardens
- Understanding and maximising edge

You will put all of this into action by helping to design a real forest garden for the farm.

Second Weekend: Permaculture Design
16th-17th March 2024 9am-5pm


Over the 2 days you will learn about the basics of permaculture design. You will get to understand
- Permaculture ethics and how to use them to make ethical choices
- Permaculture principles and how to use them to strengthen designs
- A design methodology to simplify and make designs easier and more robust
- Water management strategies
- Soil improvement strategies
- Land management strategies
- Low maintenance food growing systems


You will put all of this into action by helping to design a real forest garden for Berkeley Farm.


The course will be led by Rakesh “Rootsman Rak” - experienced Permaculture designer, teacher and Forest Garden specialist, yoga teacher and homeopath. He has been growing food since he was a child, and has been designing and teaching edible landscaping, permaculture, forest gardening, etc since 2009. Rakesh has designed and implemented forest gardens from small-scale private gardens and schools, to farms, community gardens, communal nature gardens, as well as helping design and implement forest gardens for various eco villages.


Location: Berkeley Farm
Manor Rd, Lambourne End,
Romford, RM4 1NH,
United Kingdom


Boots and appropriate clothing requested, bring your own lunch. Hot soup, teas, tools, shelter and a sacred fire provided. A notepad is recommended.


We want this course to be accessible and feel a reasonable price of £220 for the two weekend course towards meeting the needs of the facilitator(s) is acceptable


But if you are on low income and wish to attend please contact to discuss a concession price or if you can only attend 1 of the weeknds this is possible at a cost of £120.


If you jave any questions or would like to contact Rakesh

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