Saturday, April 6, 2013

Jamie Shepherd's Food Forestry Training Program

Jamie Shepherd’s Food Forestry Training Program

The Permaculture Design Course normally means having to be away from home for 12 consecutive days. I am making it accessible to everyone by offering it as a correspondence course with occasional get togethers to discuss the material and learn the practical skills to apply it. If you attended one of my weekend workshops that was not the be all and end all of
the practicalities of garden layout. The practical component of this program covers some things you haven't done before.

Bill Mollison copyrighted the term "Permaculture" to protect the planet and the public from misrepresentation of the term. I have encountered much genocidal misrepresentation of the term which is illegal in terms of copyright law. I did my PDC with Bill Mollison and qualify in terms of his conditions to teach Permaculture. I also have a B.Sc. in analytical natural resource geography and botany. I have created gardens which create their own rain through droughts and improve soil fertility over time.

Common misrepresentations of the term "Permaculture" include:
1. "A permaculture is a designed ecosystem". This is a partial truth which omits the principle of "allowing systems to find their own evolution". A garden is a relationship between a gardener and a sentient ecosystem. Relationships based on force are destructive.
2. Insufficient training in applied eco-hydrology in the desert and famine belt in which South Africa is situated; which shows in many dried out straggly attempts I have seen.
3. Invasion biology. This will destroy nature’s attempts to balance human population pressure with disastrous consequences.
4. Confusion of permaculture with labor intensive organic gardening systems which do not hold water, multiply growth vigor, minimize labor and maintenance costs or develop a pulse and a soul of their own.

1. How to produce crops in less than 2 months.                                  
2. How to cycle moisture within the system and improve rainfall.
3. How to increase the productive capacity of your system over the years.
4. How to maintain a continuity of production and avoid the feast and famine syndrome.
5. How to create a self regulating productive ecosystem that can survive without maintenance and still produce a continuity of annual crops.
6. Equip you with do-able practical skills that will empower you to apply what you learn yourself.
7. Empower you with a real ownership and connection with your self-regulating food forest ecosystem as an extension of yourself; your habitat.
8. How to grow an organic soil from seed on degraded land.


1 month later 2 storeys high: 
1 month later 2 storeys high


The whole process will require about the same time commitment as a 12 day P.D.C. Working through it in your own time will allow you to inwardly digest it much more effectively.

1. Correspondence Component:

This includes e-mailed lectures and assignments which you should submit to me for my comments. The lectures will be sent to you over a period of 8 weeks. There is no time limit on completing the assignments. I will continue coaching you until I know that you have understood. Discussion get togethers may be arranged in consultation with course participants as an optional extra with no additional tuition fees. This provision is contingent on logistical feasibility and the covering of any additional costs.
The curriculum includes that of the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Course and vital information on applied eco-hydrology in the desert and famine belt.

2. Practical and Interactive Weekend:

When 8 students have completed their assignments to my satisfaction a practical and interactive weekend will be scheduled in the Fourways area of Gauteng; in consultation with them. Those students who have not completed their assignments will simply be invited to the next practical and interactive weekend when they are ready. Essential practical layout skills will be demonstrated and practiced, observations will be made in our demo garden and interactive discussion of the course content will be facilitated. You will go home knowing that you know how to get started in applying what you have been studying.

Enrollment on this program includes invitation to all future related discussion groups and practical and interactive weekends. This will give you the opportunity to clear additional questions, improve your practical skills or to just enjoy the company of like minded people and help new students.


3. Functional Classification:

Enrollment on this program includes membership of a work in progress: The functional classification of food forest elements for the desert and famine belt. This is in the form of a spreadsheet classical taxonomic framework into which edible and useful species and their functional characteristics can be inserted. In this way I am building a picture of correlations between the ecological functions of species, genera and families of plants, animals and micro- organisms and the internationally accepted species classification system.

It is a data base to which members may refer for selecting and sourcing appropriate species to add to their productive ecosystems and also contribute relevant information. There are over 20 000 edible species on the planet and that does not include those with other uses. Biodiversity is key to the ability of an ecosystem to survive the extremes of the external environment. You will be able to access ongoing updates of this database on a member’s web page. I will reserve the right to moderate contributions to this data base.

Tuition: R 2584

Practical and Interactive Weekends:
You will have to make your own accommodation arrangements and you are asked to contribute to a bring and share lunch.

Related Discussion Groups and Presentations:
No additional tuition fees are required but any other related expenses will have to be covered by the participants.

You will not be asked to cover any other costs for the services outlined in this message.



By paying your tuition fees through my Pay fast account you will help to reduce admin time and make it possible for me to give your course work more personal attention. When you have made your payment you will be redirected to the course outline and the 1st 3 assignments. When you start sending your assignments I will respond with my comments and further directions and lecture notes. Your assignments and my comments about them may be forwarded to other students to encourage peer group discussion. When you are ready you will be invited to your first practical workshop and introduced to my food forest species data base. The Payfast system allows you to pay by EFT and a number of other options. The shipping details requested are not for dispatch of any material goods. The program and directions to workshops will be delivered over the internet. These details are required to help us keep in touch and to check that you are getting all the services spelled out on this page.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Permaculture practical workshop


This workshop is a practical course on how to layout and create a Food Forest faciltated by Jamie Shepherd.

Jamie Shepherd, who is an expert in permaculture will be presenting and facilitating a permaculture design workshops in December in Linksfield and Douglasdale. Jamie has been instrumental in initiating and driving a government-sponsored project that has established over 188 authentic permaculture gardens for local people living in Zulu Khula village and the Dukuduku forest just outside St. Lucia in northern KwaZulu-Natal and trained them to maintain the gardens to improve food security and quality for the local people, which at the same time effects re-forestation by improving the condition of this fast-dwindling forest’s degraded soil and plant undergrowth.

The next workshops will be held in the Fourways Area on:
Saturday & Sunday 2nd -3rd March 2013
The tuition fee of R 1300 allows you to attend as many practical workshops as you like at no additional cost.

During the mid summer temperatures we will be starting each day at 7 am sharp and have a break at noon to avoid the heat.

Please also bring a contribution to a bring and share lunch and whatever tools you can.

The Pay Now button will take you to a page where you can do make your EFT.

When you have made your EFT you will be taken to a page that will give you directions to the venue and further details.


Investment: R1,300 per person (bring and share lunch on both days)

To BOOK your place click here: Pay

Email Ash at to enquire about the workshop or to book your place/s.

It is recommended that you read
"Healing the Soil - Freedom from Toil"
before participating in a practical workshop.
Our weekend workshops are intended to supplement this book with practical skills that can't be explained to easily in a book.

To download this book click here