news–19 March 2024 – written by:Marieke Karssen

They are there: people who (want to) be able to make a living from their food forest and make it their profession: food forest farmer, food forest job or food forest entrepreneur. In fact, it was difficult to define this theme, because there are also people in other themes who derive part of their income from a food forest.

Welcome to the world of food forest (farming) jobs

food forest farming jobs

A podcast that has landed in this theme must meet the requirement that the guest also tells how he or she gets or wants to get an income from it. How has his or her life changed? What does it mean to have this profession? What makes it beautiful? Or difficult? What do you think about earning power and the future?

The funny thing is, if you do all seven! listening, it quickly becomes very logical that you can make a living from your food forest business or job. And that's what it should become soon: a 'normal' career option for a lot of farmers.

Want to read more about why this bundling into themes and also view and listen to the other themes? Then read on here.

We kick off with two Belgian entrepreneurs who have been living off their food forest for years and talk about it very naturally.

Podcast 27: Bert d'Hondt

Bert loved biology, thought he wanted to be a teacher, and traveled to Australia a long time ago – in the 90s of the last century. There he discovered permaculture and it didn't let him go. He decided to take over his family's house and land and has been doing it full time for about 20 years now. He eats from it, volunteers work there, he grows something, he advises and gives a lot of courses.

Podcast 29: Diderik Clarebout

Diderik is a full-time food forest farmer, food forest grower and food forest processor through a partnership. He farms on 6 hectares of fertile clay soil, in the middle of the meadows and shows it. But he also says that he had to keep a job for a long time. And that he had to learn a lot. About too much hay, too many people, too many activities. Everything is work and you have to optimize all that work.

Podcast 36: Mark Venner

Mark is at the beginning of life as a food forest farmer. He succeeds his dairy farming father and seems to be the perfect example for other sons of dairy farmers. But, of course, the reality is more complex. His reality, but also the communication with that entire field, from neighbor and fellow farmer to Rabobank. Mark and his family are walking a path that has not yet been trodden and he shares very openly what that path entails.

Podcast 33: Kaat Biesemans Hogewijs

Kaat is also Belgian, but she lives in the Netherlands. She was in a situation that was recognizable to many: husband, adolescent children, no one around her who wants to change and then it is very interesting to hear how she managed to find a new job in her own environment from a job that no longer suited after drinking a lot of cups of coffee, namely that of food forest planter and manager.

Podcast 25: Frank de Gram and Joke Feenstra

Joke and Frank are the future, we say in our podcast. Not because their plan and set-up stems from our course, but because they have developed a really repeatable recipe with which you can get through the first tough years with your food forest. Their concept is social, inclusive, local, community-building, economically feasible and of course ecologically fantastic.

Podcast 37: Clarien Klingen

Klarien is a very old hand in the ecological farming profession. She was one of the founders of Future Farmers, now also runs CSA Netherlands and is active within the Green Deal food forests while earning her income with a CSA market garden. So this is not a podcast about food forests, but one about fair wages, the always difficult position of small ecological farmers and her years of struggle for fairer revenue models.

Podcast 12: Piet Moerman and Hilde Eijlenbosch

We finish again in Belgium, at the beautiful food forest Deinze by Piet Moerman and Hilde Eijlenbosch. An example plot for farmers. Sometimes very rough. Sometimes very nicely in rows. Sometimes with guilds, sometimes in circles, but everything in this food forest is always based on perennial woody systems that are resilient in an uncertain agricultural future. Piet and Hilde have had a wonderful career in the petrochemical industry and have now started their second career: not talking but showing that ecological farming is possible. They will share all the data and tell in this podcast how they live the future for farmers.

Listened to everything?

Are you familiar with our other themes? No? Then take a look at the theme page