Transform inefficient green spaces into edible ecosystems to create food security, community well-being and societal resilience. 

Welcome  !

Welcome to The Ecosystem Solution Institute website!  We have many resources and projects to share with you here.  If we can help you further please send us an email.

                                                                                                                      Grow On!

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New at the Institute

Garden & Landscape Design eBooklets

 

Grab the Book!

A practical guidebook to growing edible biodiversity!
  • About biodiversity benefits and ecosystem landscape design​

  • Property layout strategies

  • Step-by-step design

  • How to transition your community

What people are saying about the Book!

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Resilience in an increasingly uncertain future demands that most of our food must be grown locally.  Zach Loeks provides an approach that will be vital in a warming world.

David Suzuki 

EcosystemU- December 10, 2020 11.13.10 2
Here are some of our courses...
Go deeper with our online courses at our brand new Ecosystem University!
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All about guilds!

This course is an intensive look at food guild design.  From companion planting practices to case studies of successful guild designs, this course is foundational to garden success for home gardeners or commercial growers.

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Build upon your skills

This course occurs over a weekend with 12 hours of course material designed as an intensive skill-building course.  Perfect for those who already have skills in gardening, landscaping, regenerative design, and natural resource management and other environmental studies.

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Grow like a pro!

This course looks at professional garden principles, tools and techniques that are applicable to home gardeners and homesteaders, and make a world of difference in small-plot gardening success!

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Free for Manitobans!

This course is fully funded for Manitobans through a partnership with the government of Manitoba's Safe at Home Program and The Ecosystem Solution Institute. This course is a step-by-step property design course with visioning, mapping, design and planting skills-building.

 

How can we help?

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I want to register my garden as an EPI Site!

EPI Sites are designed to help spread edible biodiversity into communities by sharing knowledge, plants and inspiring change.  We also support EPI Sites with email support and occasional site visits.

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I want to hire Zach as a speaker for an event or conference

You can download Zach's speaking topics below, and thens end an email inquiry.

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I want you to design my edible ecosystem

Zach offers phone consults, site visits/assessments and property designs and installs.  You can learn more about edible ecosystem design at Zach Loeks website.  

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I want to build an ecosystem education site.

We are looking for dedicated individuals and groups who want specialized design/consulting to help them build ecosystem education spaces.  From Living Laboratories, Edible Bike lanes to Agro-biodiversity Arboretums, we can help your goal be realized.

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I want to attend a workshop

All of our workshops are online at EcosystemU.  We have shorter intensives, longer design workshops and a selection of certifications.  Visit our online virtual school www.EcosystemU.com for a full list of 2021 courses!

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I want an interview or have Zach write 

an article!

Zach does custom illustration, photos and article for publication, he is also available for interviews and podcasts.

Speaking &  Workshops 

Download Speaking Topics pdf > 

About Ecosystem Solution Institute

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Our Mission

The Ecosystem Solution Institute (ESI) is dedicated to food security, community well-being, and societal resilience.  Its mission is to seed solutions for change-makers through education, propagation, and inspiration. 

We do this by building eco-education sites, publishing solution booklets and teaching skill-based workshops.  Our goal is transitioning under-utilized and inefficient greenspaces in yards, parks, farms, and schools, to gardens and edible landscapes.  By transitioning entire landscapes to edible diverse abundance we can transform our communities and our culture and sustain a regenerative human habitat.  The institute is primarily based out of Ontario, Canada on a 50 acre farm which serves as an edible biodiversity hot spot, a living laboratory and source point of seeds, plants and education.

 
 

Diversity   Map 

Help others find the good work you are doing!
 

Selected  Projects 

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Edible Biodiversity Conservation Area

The Ecosystem Solution Institute in partnership with other organizations and groups is building a 100-acre living laboratory.  The Edible Biodiversity Conservation Area (EBCA) is planting 3 individual plants of thousands of varieties of fruits, berries, nuts, herbs; with many popular food plants, heirloom varieties, and regional landraces.  This biodiverse food forest is both an arboretum, a collection of research sites, and a source of plant propagation for community projects.  All the varieties are planted and being managed using ecosystem design techniques.

Our  Team 

Zach Loeks

Educator, Designer, Grower

Owner, Edible Eco-system Design

Co-director, Ecosystem Solution Institute

Director/Designer, Edible Biodiversity Conservation Area

Zach is an educator, designer and grower who specializes in Edible Eco-system Design through landscaping and education.  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 first book: The Permaculture Market Garden. 

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. His inspiring and empowering vision is presented in his latest book: The Edible Ecosystem Solution.

Vera Banias

Food Security Specialist, Master Gardener

Owner, Suburban Edible Ecosystem

Co-director, Ecosystem Solution InstituteSustainable Fisheries, DFO, Government of Canada

Vera Banias is a master gardener, food security specialist, and works in sustainable fisheries development.  Within the Institute she is the manager of the Institute's largest satellite site: The Suburban Edible Ecosystem, which is showcasing food security solutions for semi-urban areas.  

Vera works across Canada, from Ontario to Manitoba and as far north as Nunavut, helping to bring food security to the forefront of policy development and community wellbeing.

Vera is passionate about the health and wellbeing of communities and the connections that can be made within communities and between people and land.  Her work can be followed through the Insitute and on social media @SuburbanEdibleEcosystem