A Forest Garden is an agroforestry system designed to optimize agricultural production on any piece of land. Forest Gardens maximize use of both horizontal and vertical space, and can be tailored to nearly all agro-ecological zones. Forest Garden designs incorporate fast-growing trees, fruit trees, hardwoods and permagardens in combinations that maximize beneficial interactions and optimize income and yields.
The Forest Garden Approach (FGA) is one of the most efficient and effective restorative agriculture development tools used today. It is a four-year, phased training methodology with its own professional certification available to everyone, everywhere. Certified Specialists work directly with groups of impoverished farmers to develop their own agroforestry practices. These practices can generate an average income increase of 400 percent while benefiting and restoring the environment. It is designed to maximize fruit and crop yields and provide consistent income and nutrition while also improving the quality of the land being farmed.
The FGA has three main phases:
Phase I: Protection Farmers build living, green fences to protect their Forest Gardens from roaming livestock and erosion. They learn to plant fast-growing fertilizer trees throughout their sites, often in alleys among their crops, to segment the field and further stabilize their soils.
Phase II: Diversification Farmers diversify their production by planting higher-value vegetables, fruit, nut, and timber trees while learning increasingly advanced skills to meet the family’s priority nutritional needs and market opportunities.
Phase III: Optimization Farmers learn about advanced Forest Garden management and conservation techniques that optimize the long-term health and productivity of the land.
The Forest Garden app is a world class distance training and certification platform - accessible both web- and app-based - that certifies practitioners around the world to use the four-year Forest Garden training methodology and tracks and shares their progress. In order to be an active participant on the Forest Garden app, one must pass the Forest Garden Certification Exam.
In the app, each specialist is able to track and share their impact planting Forest Gardens. Leaderboards show which specialists plant the most trees, the most Forest gardens and help the most families.
By becoming a Certified Forest Garden Specialist and using the methodology, you can impact a triple-bottom-line:
Hunger: Help people suffering from chronic hunger to achieve food security in less than 2 years.
Poverty: Help people earning less than $1.25/day to increase their income by 400%.
Deforestation: Help return tree cover to our world’s degraded landscapes and revitalize dying soils
You can also contribute to several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
Anyone looking to obtain an advanced agroforestry certification
Community and project leaders, Local NGO leaders
Current and future Peace Corps Volunteers, United Nations Volunteers, missionaries
Government and university extension personnel
Agriculture, livelihoods and health sector development practitioners
A professional certification recognizable in the industry
A mastery of facilitation, communication, and agroforestry skills essential for change agents
A LinkedIn badge demonstrating the completion of Trees for the Future’s Forest Garden Certification
Credentials to lead climate adaptation, sustainable agriculture
A personal profile at training.trees.org