Regenerative Landscape Design is at the forefront of a movement to restore health and vigor to our food producing ecosystems. Taking an holistic approach modeled on the success and productivity of wild systems, we look to provide real solutions to some of the problems associated with large scale food production and land management. This is a rewarding and exciting field to work in with great prospects for future development. Join us for this unique course and learn how to participate in the regeneration of our landscapes.
Would you like to learn how to design and build a forest garden?
Course fee €220
Accommodation and food: from €60
**Early booking and group discount available**
Course Fees, Accommodation and food
The fee for this course is €220 + accommodation and food*
A 50% deposit of course fees and food and accommodation fees are required to secure a place on the course. Payment can be made in £, € or BGN via bank transfer, Paypal (4.5% processing fees apply) or via ETH or BTC
The remaining fee is payable by cash (BGN) on arrival.
Places are limited to 20 so please register early to avoid disappointment.
*Everyone is welcome, and we try to accommodate all budgets. We are prepared to offer a reasonable reduction of the fees for those who need it.
Accommodation and food
Accommodation and food
We provide a range of options for you to choose from in two friendly local establishments.
Accommodation and food options are not subject to sliding scale fees.
A 10% discount is available with early booking (see below)
Accommodation and food prices for 3 nights
Option A - €60 Basic accommodation in shared house (self catering breakfast) *full
Option B - €90 (shared room in Hotel Perenika)
Option C - €110 (private room at Shipka IT)
Option D - €180 - For couples, price includes meals for two people and a private room for two at ShipkaIT)
For Options B,C and D breakfast will be provided to you from your hotel or guest room, for Option A breakfast is self catering. Lunch and dinner will be provided to everyone by our team and will include our own produce whenever possible. Drinks and snacks will be available during tea breaks. We take pride in both the production and preparation of our food . A diversity of healthy home cooked food is guaranteed. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know in advance.
The Course Concept
Our Design and Build courses are exactly that. We start with the design and end with the build. In this particular course we will be designing and building a forest garden from scratch. (see below for the design site specifications)
We'll start by surveying the design plot to establish climatic conditions, water harvesting potential, soil properties, basic botanical survey and a topography survey. Based on the initial survey we will select a range of plants for our forest garden and using landscape design software will create 2D design for the area. For the build part of the course we'll be establishing the access, irrigation and planting beds for the area. We will then plant out the canopy, shrub, herb and ground layer of the forest garden and on the final day build a wildlife pond within the garden. We aim to balance field work and hands-on practicals with the essential theory in order to provide you with a solid foundation to start designing and implementing your own projects. We'll introduce the fundamentals of regenerative design to you within an organised and structured framework and will provide a wealth of material for you to take away and study in your own time.
Why take this course?
In and around the venue
Where will you be?
The course is hosted in the town of Shipka on the foothills of the Central Balkan Mountains in the Rose Valley, Bulgaria. The area boasts high levels of biodiversity, beautiful countryside and historical sites of global, cultural and scientific significance. Sessions will be split between the lecture room, out in the wild, our 12 year old home forest garden composed of over 400 species of plants, our four year old market garden site and our perennial polyculture research fields. Our site provides a good example of small scale. low cost, intensive ecological design and includes examples of rainwater harvesting, gray water reed beds, wildlife ponds, multiple composting facilities and small scale plant nursery, forest gardens and more. We practice various methods of biological vegetable production including guild planting and crop rotation, and rear pigs, chickens and rabbits from this property.
If traveling from abroad perhaps you would like to extend your stay in the region? There is plenty to do including hiking, biking, paragliding, various wildlife tours and archaeological excursions, or just soak up the timeless vibes of rural Bulgaria. If you would like to extend your stay please get in touch with the owners of the accommodation option you choose.
The lead facilitator will be Paul Alfrey - director and founder of Balkan Ecology Project and The Polyculture Project .
Paul has been practicing and teaching ecological design for the last 12 years and has worked as a freelance Arborist in the UK for 20 years. Paul currently runs a plant nursery, market garden and polyculture research program and consults and designs for landowners and farmers across Europe.
The Design Plot
We'll be designing and building a forest garden on a plot of land that was previously used for grazing. The design will include the irrigation channels, pathways a small wildlife pond, canopy, shrub , herb and ground layer plantings.
Elevation: 574 m
Average Annual Rainfall: 588 mm
Co-ordinates: 42.42259, 25.20465
Area: 500 m2
"We are entering a new era in agriculture and resource management, one in which we actively design and create agro-ecosystems, forests, and watersheds, instead of depleting them. In the process of learning how to design, create and manage these new resource systems, we learn more and more about how to work with nature rather than against it." --Wilkinson and Elevitch, 2005
Where to find us