Explore and Experience Edible Forest Gardens!

Tour three different area forest gardens per season, for a total of six when you register for the bundle of both seasons! Learn about their designs and functions, learn tips to apply to your own garden, get hands-on experience by helping with small onsite learning projects, and take home samples from harvests or even some seeds or plant propagations!

  • In-Person Learning

    Through tours of local forest gardens in various stages of development and maturity, you will learn how to apply the principles, strategies, and techniques of edible forest gardening. You will gain hands-on experience with: useful permaculture plants, design strategies, monthly garden activities, observation skill development, record keeping, and learning how to harvest and use forest garden yields including food, medicine, and other human provisions. Students will be able to harvest materials for personal use and will make and take home forest garden products and even some seeds or plant propagations.

  • Dates and Times

    Saturday mornings from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (CST). The Summer series includes a total of three Edible Forest Garden tours and hands-on learning during the months of August, September and October. 2021 Summer Series Dates are: Saturday, 8/7/21 * Saturday, 9/25/21 * Saturday, 10/9/21. **** Locations in the western suburbs of Chicago will be provided to students after registering. **** These sessions are for in-person participation and hands-on experience, they are not virtual. A spring series is also available. Receive a discount when you register for a course bundle that includes both seasons!

  • Need to Know

    Dress for the weather! Class will be held rain or shine (if there is a need to cancel a walk due to dangerous weather, you will be notified by the instructor). * You are encouraged to bring a notebook, journal, or camera for recording plant information, observations, and photos. * Covid precaution practices will be required, so be sure to wear your mask and respect physical distancing requirements * You may also wish to bring a reusable water bottle and a basket for plant harvesting when permissible.


Permaculture Design and Gardening Instructor

Permaculture Design and Gardening Instructor

Connie Kollmeyer

Connie has been an organic gardener for 25 years and specializes in natural, sustainable, and regenerative growing systems that produce an abundance of food, flowers, and herbs in relatively small spaces. She runs her own small-scale suburban farm, Copper Fox Farm, using her years of experience and learning, including knowledge gleaned from her 2014 Permaculture Design Certificate (hosted at The Resiliency Institute) and her Master Urban Farmer training through the University of Illinois Extension. You may have met her at local farmers markets selling fresh heirloom produce, herbs, and flowers, plus foraged items and herbal preparations. To broaden her foraged and herbal knowledge and offerings, she completed The Resiliency Institute’s Edible Wild Plants Certificate and Bioregional Herbalism Certificate. Connie also owns and manages Plot Twist Permaculture, growing gardens for others in their own outdoor spaces and coaching them to become successful organic gardeners on their own. Connie is a Master Naturalist, Environmental Educator, Adjunct Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Study Abroad Instructor at College of DuPage, and recently earned an International Permaculture Teaching Certificate after completing training in Spain. She is a volunteer in local natural areas as well as gardens and seed libraries dedicated to increasing food security, sovereignty, and community resilience. She has a small flock of backyard hens, and as a lifelong learner, she is currently learning beekeeping as well, and is pursuing her master of science degree in regenerative organic agriculture.


  • Where are classes located?

    Students will be sent the locations for the classes upon registering because some sessions take place on private property. All walks are within a 30 minute drive of Naperville, IL.

  • What is your weather policy?

    Walks will go unless weather conditions are deemed unsafe at the designated walk location and time by the instructor. Students are expected to show up on location for the walk unless notified otherwise by the instructor. There may be the option to wait for bad weather to pass so the walk can still take place. Refunds for the missed class, not the season, will be available.

  • What is your refund policy?

    Full refunds are available prior to the first class session. After the class has begun, a pro-rated refund can be requested until the second class date. After the second class, no refunds can be provided, however a letter for donation can be provided for your tax purposes.

  • What if I miss a class?

    Refunds cannot be be provided for missed classes.