Definition: A visualization exercise where farmers close their eyes and imagine their perfect field filled with diverse fruits and vegetables growing in one productive Forest Garden.
Dream Field in the Forest Garden:
The Dream Field activity is done with farmers at the very beginning of the four-year program so that they can begin to think about the shape their land will take over the next four years. It is a great way to set expectations for what each farmer can accomplish and motivate farmers for the productive future to come.
During the activity, trainers have farmers imagine that they are walking through their own Forest Garden where they can smell the many fruits, feel the soft soil at their feet, and hear fauna. Once the scene is set, the trainer asks questions focused on the outcome and the steps needed to get there. Here are a few examples of each:
Focusing on outcomes: What do you see? What plants, trees, or crops are growing? How do you feel? What do you smell? What do you hear? Are others there? What are they doing? Are there animals or livestock? What else is there?
Focusing on steps: What steps do you see yourself taking to make this a reality? What all did you do to make this dream a reality? What’s the biggest obstacle you faced? Now let’s go back to that image - the picture of the thriving Forest Garden - how did you overcome these obstacles to accomplish this? Who helped you? What helped you persevere?