Designing landscapes to mimic wild ecosystems for maximum edible and useful benefits for human communities in conjunction with holistic environmental resilience. In other words, organized food plant systems in neighbourhoods, farms and yards for high production per square foot and low maintenance over many years. Zach Loeks designs three types of edible ecosystems: wild native ecosystem restorations, edible ecosystem landscapes with popular cultivars, and ecosystem farm or community garden plots. Zach uses a modular systems and designs from 25 square feet to 2,500 acres.
These days Zach puts his installation energy into installing site with an educational goal and creating EPI Sites (Education, Propagation, Inspiration Sites), whose goal is to catalyze the transition of the community around them into edible biodiversity benefits.
Zach is an edible ecosystem designer, educator and author. He consults widely with homes, farms, colleges, schools and municipalities across Canada and the United States, and through many biomes from Guatemala and South Africa to the Yukon and Mongolia.
Zach manages an award-winning farm with diversified food forest products, heirloom garlic, and a hardy tree nursery. His innovations have won three provincial awards and are featured in his books: The Permaculture Market Garden, The Edible Ecosystem Solution and The Two-wheel Tractor Handbook.
Zach is the director of the Ecosystem Solution Institute, which is dedicated to the education, propagation and inspiration of ecosystem solutions for land use transition. The Institute oversees pathbreaking education sites, including an Edible Biodiversity Conservation Area near Ottawa, Ontario and a suburban food forest in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Zach is passionate about how small actions - strategically linked - can make big change. He is an educator at the online school EcosystemU.com.