El Manzano Huerto Forestal

In August 2012, Veronica and I were invited to lead a 5 day advanced design course at the El Manzano Eco-Escuela in Bio-Bio, Chile. This course was designed to provide students with advanced design skills to allow them to design and install their own Forest Gardens. As an added challenge I taught this course in Spanish.


Students analyse the site

Over the course of 5 days 33 students went through the process of learning how to analyse a site, develop a concept design, develop a detailed design and implement the planting. The site was behind the Casa de Conejos, a small fiber-board house located in the El Manzano eco-village. Griffen and Javiera live in this house with Anaru, their son.


Students engaged in the design process

The goals of the Forest Garden were to provide fruit and food for Griffen, Javi and Anaru with some excess which could be processed on the farm. Also, it was hoped to be a learnscape, where students could learn and understand the principles of Forest Gardening. The site was bordered by a main road and pine forests to the North and West.

Huerto Forestal Base Map

Huerto Forestal Base Map


Looking east toward the Casa de Conejos


Looking south towards the composting areas

Over the first three days of the course the students analysed the site and applied the principles of forest gardening to develop possible designs for the space.

Student designs of the space

Student designs of the space

It was a great space for an advanced design course as the area was like a blank canvas. Groups of students developed different designs for the site and we selected the common patterns to develop a site analysis of the site.

Patchwork analysis of the site

Patchwork analysis of the site

On the fourth day of the course we started the installation. Some students brought in the materials for the install, others began to survey the site and develop the path pattern in the garden.


Students bring in woodchips and manure


Installation morning asado. Longaniza. The breakfast of champions


Students survey the paths and flood irrigation channels


Plants available for the install


Completed fire circle for classes and social gatherings

By lunch time we had completed a seating circle and the primary paths were in.


View of primary paths at lunch time


Veronica in the centre of the rosa de vientos mandala

El Manzano Bosque comestible bed plantings

Bed planting pattern for the forest garden. View the rosa de vientos pattern behind the beds

At the end of the day all the trees were in as well as tree guards installed to prevent the plants getting eaten by rabbits which are prolific on site.


End of the installation day. Planted Forest Garden


North-East quarter of the garden


The Forest Garden one month on

The goals of the garden were to provide fruit for Griffen and Javi who live at the El Manzano Eco-Village which is next to the Ecoescula. Further, the goals were to develop a learnscape near the school where students could learn about the principles of Forest Gardening. As the garden develops we can evaluate whether the garden will achieve these goals and what we need to change in order to move the garden towards its goals.

Tagged , , ,

One thought on “El Manzano Huerto Forestal

  1. […] design, Forest Garden Theory and implementation practice. Check out a profile of the design here and in the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: