Food Forestry

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Food Forestry North of the 49th

by Richard D. Walker

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Richard Walker’s work spans forty plus years of experience as a farmer, herbalist and food forester. He spent his early years as an organic farmer in Alberta, Canada, where he and his parents grew specialty crops and practiced animal husbandry. In 1985 he moved to Grand Forks, British Columbia and, over the next twenty years, transformed a degraded three-acre property into the first food forest in Canada.

Now known as Filbelly Forest, this mix of fruit and nut trees and medicinal plants continues to serve as a cold-climate edible botanical repository of note. Walker is a founding member of the Boundary Organic Producers Association as well as the Food Foresters of Canada Society. He is passionate and deeply informed about soil health and its link to nutritious, diverse food, human health and sound economics.

Both optimist and pragmatist, he enjoys passing on the studied art and skill of forest gardening to those who strive for food stability. There are a number of small and large scale food forests spanning diverse climatic zones in Canada as a result of his expertise.

Presently, Richard lives with Karin in Osoyoos, British Columbia where he grows an arid-zone food forest and continues to make herbal tinctures. His way of living underscores the joy of a simple and connected life and his food forests reflect this.

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Book Reviews:

”In his new book, Food Forestry North of the 49th, Richard Walker shares his passion and knowledge of plants and nature, and his many years of experience working with a wide diversity of plants in the cold temperate zone.
The topics expertly covered in this practical book will guide people with little experience on how they can establish their own food forest. Food Forestry North of the 49th also offers many tips and solid advice to readers with many years of experience in food forestry.
The plant species chart at the end of the book is a great tool to guide the gardener in choosing from a wide diversity of plants in the planning of their sustainable garden.
I’ve enjoyed reading Richard Walker’s book and would recommend it to anyone interested in food forest gardening or wanting to create a more beautiful, edible and medicinal place around their home.”
Gregoire Lamoureux
Permaculture Designer & Teacher with Kootenay Permaculture Institute

“Richard Walker is an experienced food forester and an excellent teacher. As a beneficiary of his wisdom over the last few years, and a fairly new food forester myself, I found his book, Food Forestry North of the 49th, to be a valuable resource when contending with the challenges we face growing food forests in the diverse climates of Canada. His wonderful drawings and captivating photographs, along with his knowledge of soils, plants and the best ways to combine them to create a successful food forest make this book a valuable addition to the library of any food forester in Canada, from eager novices to experienced old-timers.” Dr Lynn Wytenbroek

“As for your book, all I can say is “WOW!!”. What an amazing resource! The text is immensely readable, interesting and accessible even, I believe, to novice gardeners/ farmers. I love your hand drawings and the photos do a great job of demonstrating to the reader what is possible. I shall be recommending this book to anyone who will listen to me and who is interested in growing their own food in tune with nature. It is such an incredible gift that you are so willing to share your knowledge so fully and generously! “ Abra Brynne, Food Secure Canada