Thinking Like a Forest
Sat 23 Feb, 10am - 2pm, 8 Castle Street
A workshop on forest gardening
The second in a series of workshops exploring garden-crafting as an opportunity to investigate the relationship between nature and culture, between human and more than human worlds.
Following on from our workshop last year, Possible Gardens of Kinship, we are returning to the practice of forest gardening. Forest Gardening “offers the possibility of meeting human needs in a far more ecological, connected way than conventional farming, organic or chemical. It is the art and science of designing complete ecosystems that bear a useful, varied yield for people.” Forest gardens use perennials and self-seeding plants to produce a self-sustaining edible ecosystem in the garden. Last time we looked at the basic of building a forest garden. Forest Gardening does not aim to grow forests, but rather to think of growing like a forest, considering things such as different levels, nutritional, healing and communicative relationships between plants at different levels and working with perennials.
For the first part of the workshop Alan Carter (Scottish Forest Garden) will be joining us to talk about how to extend the availability and variety of fresh vegetables at either end of the growing season using forest gardening techniques.
In the second part of the workshop we will be delving a little deeper into the cultural and ecological transformative potentials of forest gardening. We take this opportunity to ask what it means to think like a forest? In what ways could thinking like a forest help to call into question many of the anthropocentric assumptions embedded in Western ways of life? Such assumptions have led to the unsustainable exploitation of things like rivers, forests, soils, as well as of course peoples, plants, animals.
We will go on an ‘entanglements’ walk, led by Caroline Gatt TITG. The walk will draw on the work of two anthropologists, Eduardo Kohn (How Forests Think) and Michael Uzendowski (“Somatic Poetry”), and on Gatt’s laboratory theatre practice as a possible path to developing more-than-human communicative habits. Suggested reading: Michael Uzendowski Somatic Poetry in Amazonian Ecuador
10am - 12pm Talk by Alan Carter on forest gardening techniques and crops to help extend the growing season.
12pm - 1pm Entanglements Walk with Caroline Gatt
1pm - 2pm Lunch