Become A Certified Food Forest Designer

Online training at your own pace with Louis De Jaeger. Organized by Commensalist in collaboration with Food Forest Institute.

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Design your backyard food forest or become a pro.

We have a formula to fit every need.


Our mission is to restore as many hectares of land worldwide as possible, which is exactly why we want to share our knowledge with the world.

A certificate to show to your future clients

Our mission is to plant as many food forests in suitable locations around the world as we can. And in order to achieve this we need an army of food forest designers.

It important to be able to show and demonstrate to your potential customers that you have the sufficient knowledge and skills. By completing the online training, you will receive an official FFDC certificate.


The training course that we always dreamed of

Louis De Jaeger has worked closely with the Commensalist® team to perfect his methodology for food forest design. 

Containing years and years of research that have been tried and tested in the real world, all bundled into an online training course. Its step-by-step plan will allow anyone to become a food forest designer in half a year’s time.

24/7 Online community

When the course starts, you will not be alone, but will be part of a group of like-minded people with the same goals.

We’ll make sure that you get to know all your fellow students and feel comfortable from the get go, as the course includes peer-to-peer learning, where you can learn from each other’s successes and much, much more.

Although you are not alone you will need a bit of self-discipline, luckily you can contact fellow students and ask questions of each other.

Zin in een carrièreswitch?


If you are left with any doubts after watching the course videos, then our team will be right behind you to answer all your questions. You just have to look at the course’s Q&A to see if your question has already been answered, and if not, then send us your question using the online community group.

26 weeks

As a participant, each module will take about one week to complete. Some modules take longer, and others less. Our team has made sure you will have enough time to take all the knowledge and power in.

Interactive video lessons

Learning can be such an incredible and fun thing to do when done right, and that is why we focus on making our video lessons as interesting as possible. With infographics, demonstrations in the field, 3D renders, and much more, the time will fly past, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself enjoying your graduation ceremony.



In order to achieve the ‘Designer’ and ‘Teacher’ qualifications, you’ll have to first complete an internship of at least 10 days at either a food forest or with a natural nut or fruit grower in your area.

Even though this training course is an incredibly in-depth and rewarding experience, you’ll really be able to ingrain your knowledge and skills with a real-world experience.

Challenging assignments

We are known for our dedication to providing quality courses, and that is why we only give certificates to participants that we know are 100% ready for going out and working in the field.

We’ll make sure of this by sending you various interesting yet challenging assignments, as well as continuing to test your knowledge throughout the various modules.

Be part of our designer database

Once you have obtained your certificate, you will be registered on our online database of professional food forest designers. 

This will allow future customers in your area to find you as well allowing you to be kept up-to-date with the newest and latest jobs. Het eerste jaar is dit gratis. Het eerste jaar is dit gratis. 

Louis De Jaeger

Founder of Food Forest Design Course

By taking responsibility now, one day you’ll be able to look your grandchildren in the eye and say “I did something.

Maybe you've been dreaming of making your food forest dream come true for some time, but you 're not sure how to get started?

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23 modules to enjoy

Module 1 :

Current agricultural and climate issues


Module 2 :

Why a food forest?


Module 3 :

What is a food forest?


Module 4 :

Food forest ethics


Module 5 :

Why do you want a food forest?


Module 6 :

Rent, buy or borrow land


Module 7 :

Mapping your terrain


Module 8 :



Module 9 :

Financiële planning


Module 10 :

De verschillende zones


Module 11 :

The scale of permanence


Module 12 :

The design structure


Module 13 :

Planting distances


Module 14 :

Planting examples


Module 15 :

Natural planting distances


Module 16 :

Plant guilds


Module 17 :

The right plant in the right place


Module 18 :

Top 100 food forest plants


Module 19 :

Soil preparation



Module 20 :

The planting


Module 21 :



Module 22 :

Propagating plants


Module 23 :

Community & edible landscapes


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✓ Designer Certificate
✓ Designer + Teacher certificate

Final assignment: A design to frame

In order to get a certificate that officially recognizes you as a designer, you’ll need to actually be able design food forests for customers. You will do this as the final exercise of course, where you’ll use all the knowledge you’ve acquired to create your very own design.

As all the modules come together during this final assignment, you’ll learn to communicate with customers, observe the terrain on different occasions, choose the right plants and make a planting list, which will allow you to give your customer the complete package for them to get started.


A great experience, full of information that allows you to get started and is adaptable to different people's approaches and ideas. You'll return home with a basket full of "WORK" and a lot of inspiration!

Minne D.

I received a "Great Distinction". which I hope will set the bar very high for participants on the courses after this one. I learned a lot in a lovely setting. Just about all the important aspects were covered in a program that has a lot of variety (inside – outside; theory – practice). It was great to see a helicopter's view of a food forest project. In short, keep it up!

Yves V.

A very extensive and fascinating course in a beautiful setting and with a great group. The content of the lessons was very extensive. I liked the fact that you are immersed in the world of food forests with like-minded people.

Ilja H.

Very cool. I met nice people (both teachers and students) and the group was not too big or too small.

Evelyn V.


Voor jezelf

Als je je eigen stuk grond wil leren ontwerpen
  • Lesmateriaal 1 jaar beschikbaar
  • Toegang tot Q&A
  • Toegang tot de online community
  • Getuigschrift van deelname
  • 14 dagen geld terug garantie


Train anderen om designer te worden
  • Lesmateriaal 1 jaar beschikbaar
  • Toegang tot Q&A
  • Toegang tot de online community
  • Cursus beschikbaar als audiofiles
  • Stage opdracht
  • Design opdracht
  • Intense teacher opdracht
  • Live 2-daagse training in Brussel
  • Voedselbos Designer Certificaat
  • Voedselbos Teacher Certificaat
  • 1 jaar profiel in database ontwerpers (verlengbaar)
  • 1 jaar profiel in database lesgevers (verlengbaar)
  • 14 dagen geld terug garantie


The key elements of the course are listed at the top of this page: 23 modules, instructional videos, Q&A, 24/7 online community, challenging assignments, fun knowledge tests, illustrations to understand the material even better and the FFDC certificate itself if you go for Designer or Teacher.

Het is ons doel om maximaal veel positieve impact te maken.

Als je na 14 dagen na betaling merkt dat deze opleiding niets voor jou is en niet de maximale positieve impact kan maken, kan je beter je geld investeren in iets die nog meer positieve verandering kan teweeg brengen.

As long as the top of the website says: registrations open, you can register.

Every week, you can start a new module. You’ll have the chance to ask questions about anything you don’t understand, with the answer being shared among the whole group, so everyone can learn together. You will also have to do one or more tests/assignments in each module. As well as this you can also visit the private food forest student community every day to discuss what you’ve learnt with other participants.

You can follow the online Food Forest Design Course at your own pace. However, we recommend that you invest at least 4 hours per week, so that you can stay up-to-date with the flow of the course.

Some enthusiasm and a drive to learn are the most important things you need. In addition to this, you’ll need a computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection as well as a pencil, paper and eraser.

We are 100% convinced that you will see and appreciate the value that this course can give to you. After all, it is the most complete online food forest design course that we know of.

However, if for some reason you do feel that the course is not for you, then we will return the course fee to you after 14 days.

The course is largely based on the book: ‘Design your own food forest’ by Louis De Jaeger. The book will help you understand everything even more structurally, but you can also follow the course perfectly well without the book. Participants get the pdf of this book as a workbook anyway.

It’s the grand final! Everything that you have have learned so far will come together in the form of a design assignment that’s complete and comes with all the trimmings! 
If you are taking part in the Teacher course, their is an additional final assignment (in addition to the design final assignment) which is to create a brand new module, where you can record yourself on video. Your video will be used in subsequent training courses. We’ll look and decided on the content that best meets your interests.
Have a look at the different courses and choose the one that suits you the best, then you just need to click on the register button. This will take you to a secure payment page where you can guarantee your spot. It takes about 2 minutes🙂And after that… it’s welcome aboard!

Do a 10-day internship in a food forest or an organisation/company that has something to do with food forests (tree nursery, small fruit, …). It is your own responsibility to contact the internship site, fix the internship dates and carry out your internship properly. Here we expect a great effort in self-reliance.

This course is available to students all over the world, however every country has its own laws regarding internships. So always check the rules and regulations in your country to see what is the best way to do it. The only way we can help with your local authorities is by providing a letter to explain the training course.


This is only available to those who are are training for the “Teacher” qualification. 

As it’s better to discuss the art of teaching in person, we will schedule 2 days in Brussels where you’ll be prepared and taught how teach about food forests. All the assignments are linked to these 2 days. 

De twee dagen zijn aansluitend. Lichte lunch en lessen zijn inbegrepen. These are two consecutive days. This includes the lessons as well as a light lunch. Breakfast, dinner and your overnight stay are not included. It is also possible to do this online if you’re too far from Belgium.

You can always upgrade your course. For example, you can upgrade from “For Yourself” to “Designer” or “Teacher”, or from “Designer” to “Teacher”. 

However, it’s not possible to go down a course, unless you decide that the course is not for you within the first 14 days.

This training course is is designed with all the world’s climates in mind. The general principles are applicable everywhere. 

We ourselves are located in a temperate climate, which means that most of the course’s focus is on this.

If your terrain/working area is located in a different climate, you can still follow the training. If in doubt, we recommend that you register and start the course, as you’ll have 14 days to change your mind.


As the name implies, this is a food forest design course. So the focus is on design, topics such as plant propagation, maintenance and so on are briefly covered, but are not the scope of this course.

We add everyone who has obtained the Food Forest Design Certificate to a website, so that potential customers can find you more easily.

This is free for the first year. After that, the membership fee is €100 ex. VAT per year. By continuing to be a member, you will have access to the latest updates from the food forest course itself (such as new lessons,…).

If you are asking this question, then it is probably best to do the ‘For Yourself’ training course, where you can work at your own pace, and nothing is completely mandatory. 

If you are going for a ‘designer’ or ‘teacher’, this training is quite intensive: you get all kinds of assignments and the quality requirements to obtain the certificate are high.

No problem🙂Just send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

We want to make training as accessible and inclusive as possible. Is budget a big barrier for you and you still want to take the training? 

Please contact for more information.

For Yourself
No compulsory assignments. However, optional test questions accompany the modules.


  1. Internship: At least 10 days.
  2. Design: Create a design of a food forest of your choice: your own place, a garden or grounds of friends, family or acquaintances.
  3. Final assignment: A design assignment of a project you will receive from us.


  1. Above assignments
  2. Live training in Brussels or online
  3. Final assignment teacher