Contact Food Forest Farm West:
510-403-1344 or foodforestfarm.west(at)
or select from the menu on the left to learn more about available services

The idea of food forests comes from the pre-industrial farming practices of many indigenous peoples. Using the model of a forest system and it’s many layers, these early farmers incorporated food production into existing eco-systems in stark contrast to the “slash and burn” or clear cutting methods of modern agriculture, which requires annual tilling of the soil, and continuous inputs of water, fertilizer, and pesticides to support an unnatural monoculture.

Learning from the wisdom of our ancestors, we can now mimic the context of a forest using edible and medicinal perennial plants.

The benefits of the food forest system work in a dynamic way with the environment so that soil is built not tilled, and it requires much less (if any) weeding, watering or chemical inputs.
Besides being both ecological and practical, food forests can also appeal to an overall sense of beauty, harmony and well being.

About Food Forest Farm West
Over the last ten years I have watched (and helped) my brother Jonathan Bates and our friend Eric Toensmeier grow a food forest in Western Massachusetts. A couple years ago my brother began a nursery propagating from his own back yard and the original Food Forest Farm began!

Marikler with a chicken in the 'Paradise Lot...' Holyoke, Mass

While visiting family back east, FFF West was born one wintry January in Western Massachusetts, when my friend Javiera asked what I was doing. At the time I said I was thinking of starting a nursery and Javiera said “like Food Forest Farm West?” And the rest is history….

About Jessica Bates
Jessica at Sircadia Eco-Farm, trellising arbejas with taro in foreground

I have been gardening for over 10 years, run multiple gardening education programs (adult, high school and elementary), co-founded the Ashby community garden, have worked with multiple bay area landscapers and I am a certified permaculture teacher and designer as well as an Alameda County “Master Composter”. I specialize in organic perennial and annual food production and CA native and "bay friendly" plants.

I have also raised chickens in the urban environment. I have raised chickens since 2010, and built four different chicken runs. Each run was made out of reused or reclaimed materials.

Beekeeping is something I began learning about when I worked at the Sircadia eco-farm in PerĂº. I am now assisting renowned East Bay organic bee keeper Alan Hawkins.

A special thanks to my friend, and business partner, Bakari Kafele, for encoraging me to start my business and for being a dear friend and support along the way.

Contact Food Forest Farm West by phone at 510-403-1344 or email foodforestfarm.west(at) or select a link from the left menu to learn more about the services I can provide you.