About this Platform

More and more attention for food forests

Food From The Forest focuses on spreading knowledge about food forests as a serious alternative to conventional agriculture. Food forests offer solutions to the climate and biodiversity crisis, while at the same time producing a lot of food and especially healthy food.

About six years ago, the first professional food course of Food from the Woods was launched, led by teachers who are experts in their field. Since then, we have trained more than 200 people. The annual course consists of three modules:
  • Extensive general knowledge of food forests, such as the various layers within a food forest, succession, biodiversity, symbiosis and soil types.
  • Learn to design a food forest: From learning to think in time and layers to a complete presentable design.
  • Learn how to actually realise your plan: Not only your earnings model, but also legal form and pitch.

In the meantime, the course has been expanded to include a course in plant propagation.

Why should we join forces?

Although the food forest community is growing rapidly, the development of food forests is still in its infancy. And in some places, they are met with a lot of resistance. Government agencies reject the rough appearance of food forests and/or want to protect the open landscape. Large agricultural organisations do not yet see a revenue model in this new form of agriculture. agriculture. And so they are not willing to support long-term research on food forests practically and financially. That is exactly why all those new and courageous food forest pioneers deserve all the help and support, so that together we can make the necessary agricultural transition happen. Food from the Forest supports these pioneers in two major areas:

1. How to make a budget for a food forest?

Food forests are great, but to reach maturity, they need time to grow and develop. It is therefore difficult to explain to banks or other investors that the expenses of a new food forest are high in the beginning, that there is little or no income in the first five years, but that after those five years, the food forest will yield more and more harvests and thus income. Therefore, we have come up with four inspiring design concepts, including the underlying detailed calculations. In this way, the potential of food forests becomes clearly visible: after 10 years, food forests will provide permanent high yields. Both ecologically and economically. We share these four food forest designs with the corresponding business cases free of charge with anyone who is interested. In addition, we offer a simple Excel tool with which prospective food forest owners can make a budget for their own food forest. In 2022, we expand the offer to six new designs and improve the budget tool.

2. How can you prove that food forests do what they promise?

Excel statements and forecasts are nice, but what the food forest movement really needs is evidence. Proof that food forests are productive agricultural systems. Therefore, we have started a citizen science project, which will provide (scientifically validated) insight in the realized ecological and economic returns of food forests over a long period of time.

These data are produced and owned by the food forest owners themselves. In a few years, this data will prove that a food forest is a diverse, abundant and resilient ecosystem. And therefore a profitable, productive and regenerative alternative to conventional agriculture, which in the meantime also fixes CO2 for free, improves biodiversity and stores plenty of biomass and water in the soil.

Open data from the community for the community 

The citizen science project includes four different measuring instruments that participants can fill in themselves on the Food from the Forests website. With these four instruments, food forest owners can follow the changes in biodiversity, soil, CO2 uptake and ecological and economic harvests over several years. The free measurements are easy to use. Food forest owners can compare their measurements with similar food forests (same soil type, same year of first planting etc.). Scientists are also free to use the data.

What if we, all food forest owners and scientists around the world, worked together....

Each year, we will continue to improve and validate the tests. We invite all scientists to join us, so that we can jointly develop more tests and analyse data. Also, all food forest owners are welcome to create their own profile on the website of Food from the Forests and become part of the growing food forest movement.

The aim of Food from the Forests is to collect more and more data on food forests every year, together with even more food forest owners. In this way, we can prove together even better that food forestry is a profitable, productive and regenerative alternative to traditional agriculture.

Through the production of healthy and abundant food, food forestry contributes to the much-needed transition of the current agricultural system, the restoration of ecosystems and the reconnection of people and nature. 

And now..... action!

  • If you have a food forest and would like to contribute to the citizen science project of Food from the Woods, please read on at Food Forest Monitoring.
  • If you are planning to start a food forest and want to know more about revenue models for food forests, take a look at the four food forest themes.
  • If you want to make a liquidity forecast for your future food forest, download the budget tool
  • If you really want to learn in practice, consider one of our courses.
Want to learn more about food forests? Then check out what is a food forest, our comprehensive FAQ or at our webinars.