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2008, Living Mandala
creative services by: 360 Degrees












In Association With

Food Forests Across America

Equinox Landscapes

Harmony Farm Supply

Facilitators & Instructors

Jay Ma

Sage Mata

Serena Estes

John Valenzuala

Kyle Collins

Devin Slavin

Course Inspiration

In an uncertain economy and changing world, local food security is an essential element to becoming sustainable in this emerging Green Economy. This course is a community offering by the Food Forests Food Forests Across America campaign. Food Forests Across America is a loosely affiliated group of permaculture designers organizing around the initiative to transform lawns, parks, gardens, and empty spaces into thriving edible landscapes that are beautiful, regenerative, and produce an abundance of delicious, locally grown food! Our intention with this course is to inspire a Food Forest revolution in Berkeley and the surrounding Bay area cities.

Course Description

This weekend course immerses participants in the hands-on reality of designing & co-creating a food forest on a typical small urban landscape. Imagine a forest where every single tree is dripping with fresh fruits and ripening nuts, every shrub is packed with delicious berries, and every other plant is a medicinal herb, culinary spice, or beautiful edible flower. Tubers and root crops are abundant underfoot, gourmet mushrooms sprout in the shade, and hardy kiwi vines climb back up through the layers of this multi-functional forest of food. During this weekend course, participants will learn through hands-on experience how to transform their yard into a thriving edible landscape. Expect to dive right in and get your hands in the dirt.

Schedule & Topics

Friday, Nov 6: Soil Building, Mushrooms, & Mycoremediation

This is our first day focused on soil & mushrooms. We will be doing hands-on soil building and mushroom inoculation. Topics and activities to include: Intro to Permaculture, Soil Structure, Soil Building, Fungal Biology, Mushroom Cultivation, Sheet Mulching, and Myco-Restoration

Saturday, Nov 7: Permaculture, Soil Building, & Water on the Landscape

This is our primary day which will include a bit of everything happening the entire weekend throughout the food forest installation. Topics and activities to include: Intro to Permaculture, Water on the Landscape, Swales, Sheet mulching, Soil Building, Mycelial Applications in the Garden, & Vermiculture

Sunday, Nov 8 - Food Forests, Planting, & Drip Irrigation

This is the last day where ewe will focus mostly on plants and food forests. Topics and activities to include Food Forests, Design Process, Plants, Planting, Drip Irrigation.

Food Forests Across America on Visionary Culture Radio

On Monday, April 6th, the Food Forests Across America campaign went live with 6 permaculture designers from bioregions representing the east to west coasts of the U.S. appearing on Visionary Culture Radio.

Guests Included:

Erik Ohlsen - Founder & Director - Permaculture Earth Artisans

Ethan Roland - Founder & Director - AppleSeed Permaculture

Marisha Auerbach - Founder & Director - Herb 'n Wisdom

Max Meyers - Director - Mendocino Ecological Learning Center

Jay Ma - Co-Founder, Director of Programs and Development - Living Mandala

John Valenzuela - Veteran Permaculture Designer, Educator & Consultant

Transform Your Lawn Into a Food Forest!

Berkeley, California

November 6-8, 2009

Tuition & Registration

In the spirit spreading the word, information and skills for the Ôø‡Food Forests Across AmericaÔø‡ campaign, tuition for this course is only $65 for the entire weekend, or $30 per day. (Small additional Reg fees may apply).This is just to cover basic costs. Additional contributions are greatly appreciated and will go towards the Food Forests Across America Campaign.

* Space is limited to 25 participants, so register to secure your spot. To reserve your spot register through the link above.

Snail Mail

To complete your registration or donate with a check or money order by mail, make checks out to "Living Mandala" and mail to:

Living Mandala

Attn: FFAA

P.O. Box 704

Sebastopol, CA 95473

Refund Policy

Cancellations up to 1 weeks before the course before Oct 30 will be refunded, excluding a $5 processing fee. No refunds are given after Oct 30.

What is a Food Forest Garden?

Food forests are diverse gardens modeled after natural ecosystems designed to mimic the way a forest thrives and regenerates. A forest continuously nourishing all elements in the system and produce a vast diversity of outputs, but requires little or no inputs to sustain itself. By recognizing the self-supporting, mutually beneficial relationships of the elements in a forest - from tall trees, smaller trees, shrubs, herbs, ground covers, vines, nitrogen fixers, insectaries, fungi, animals, and more, the food forest garden designs a similar system but replaces the components that are in a common forest with species that are preferred edibles and more useful for humans. The forest then becomes a Garden of Eden, in which edible or useful plants are found from head to toe, where something in season is always ready to eat, and the system requires little or no maintenance to sustain and regenerate.

Site Details

This course will be held at a typical urban residence in north Berkeley at 1211 Cornell Ave, Berkeley, California, 94706. For a map and directions to the site click here.


For questions and more information regarding the course

e-mail: or

call: 707-634-1461


Facilitators & Instructors

Jay Ma

Jay Ma is a permaculture designer, facilitator, and community organizer committed to cultural healing through Peacemaker Principles. Hereceived his first permaculture designcertification through Naropa University in 2001, a B.A. through New College of California in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community with a concentration in Eco-Dwelling/Natural Building, and is a graduate of the pioneering two-year training intensive in Regenerative Design & Nature Awareness. Jay has developed educational programs, retreats, workshops, and events as well as community land development projects with organizations including the Regenerative Design Institute, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Earth Circle, Gaia University, Harmony Festival, and others. Jay is co-founder and director of programs and development of Living Mandala - an emerging collective of educators, designers, and consultants, and works with other regenerative educators and institutions organizing educational courses, workshops, and events for ecological and social-social regeneration in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. He is currently an associate with Gaia Universityin Organized Learning for Eco-Social Regeneration. Jay is also a certified Permaculture Teacher, aFire Walk Instructor through Sundoor International,and is passionate about renewing Rites of Passage experiential programs for people of all ages.

Sage Mata

Sage is a permaculture designer, earthen builder, gardener, teacher and community organizer passioned by her love of the Earth. With nature and community as her teachers and inspiration, she spreads her laughter and light as she works to reflect the harmonious and regenerative patterns of nature into human design systems. She earned a Bachelor's degree of Ecopsychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she taught a UCSC course of Ecopsychology and Social Change and co-facilitated a UCSC cob bench building workshop in 2004. She received her Permaculture Design Cerificate in 2004 through the Earth Activist Training ( and has then been involved in various permaculture projects from British Colombia to Argentina. She worked as a natural building site leader at O.U.R Ecovillage ( and co-manager of the bountiful gardens at GingerHill farm/retreat center on the Big Island of HawaiÔø‡i ( Sage has worked for several organizations, such as the Homeless Garden Project ( and the Garden Path Project of Berkeley Youth Alternatives ( Sage has completed a Permaculture Teacher's Training Course at the Bullock's Homestead, WA. Currently, she is an associate of Gaia University earning her Master's in Integrative EcoSocial Design, where she is studying action-learning as a system to integrate patterns of consciousness and the development of culture.

Serena Estes

Serena Estes is a professional landscaper, farmer, and budding Permaculture Designer seeking to bring the inspiration of growing your own food to the community. Her passion is the beau-edible garden, both beautiful and edible. After graduating from the University of Colorado in 2002 with a degree in Anthropology, she still found herself searching for what's missing in our culture. After working on and operating an organic farm in eastern California, She has been a professional landscaper for several years and is currently managing the maintenance department at Equinox Landscape in Petaluma. In permaculture, she has found that both of her passions are combined, an exploration of culture, and a holistic way to care for this earth we are all growing in.

John Valenzuela

John Valenzuela is a horticulturist, consultant, and veteran permaculture educator with experience teaching and consulting a wide range of people including children, students, professionals, owners, renters, institutions, businesses, displaced sugar workers, and more. John has been a lead permaculture design course instructor at the Bullock Family Homestead in Orcas Island Washington for 10 years, and also has experience teaching in Costa Rica and throughout urban and rural California. Living in Hawai'i for 15 years, John has studied and practiced tropical permaculture and taught extensively in the Islands. His special interests are home gardens, plant propagation, rare fruit, food forests, agroforestry, ethnobotany, and native ecosystems. John is now based in his home state of California, where he maintains a small nursery and shares his passion for plants.

Devin Slavin

Devin Slavin is a permaculture designer, eduator, and founder of Abundance In Balance & the Grow Food Party Crew - - a model and movement for growing food and building community resilience through front and backyard parties. He has been intensively studying and applying permaculture in a wide variety of situations - from farming to teaching to landscape design and building. Devin has a BA in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community with concentration in Ecological Agriculture through New College of California and has studied and worked with the Regenerative Design Institute for over two years. Devin specializes in high-end property design and mentoring both adults and youth in Permaculture and Nature Connection.

Kyle Collins

Harkening from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Kyle moved to California in search of training in sustainable agriculture and permaculture. He received his Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center ( in 2007 and has been teaching workshops and a high school class in permaculture design since then. Kyle's love of fungi grew out of the exploration and personal development of his college years. Kyle has studied and worked with fungi sa an Environmental Educator, Permaculturalist, and Farmer. Kyle now has seven years experience of working with and growing organic culinary and medicinal mushrooms at home. He has taught workshops in mushroom cultivation and mycological restoration in Sonoma and Mendocino Countie for two years. His programs fuse together the wisdom of permaculture principles with hands-on experiential techniques for the home cultivation of mushroom.

Additional Special Guest Instructors to Appear Throughout the Weekend

Thanks to Our Sponsors

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