The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic

7.50 USD15.00 USD

An educational film about the largest permaculture orchard in eastern North America and on the future of fruit growing.

The Permaculture Orchard : Beyond Organic is a feature-length educational film that will teach you how to set up your own permaculture orchard at any scale. Recognizing the limitations of the organic model as a substitute to conventional fruit growing, this film proposes a more holistic, regenerative approach based on permaculture principles.

Based on 20 years of applied theory and trial and error, biologist and educator Stefan Sobkowiak shares his experience transforming a conventional apple orchard into an abundance of biodiversity that virtually takes care of itself. The concepts, techniques and tips presented in this film will help you with your own project, whether it is just a few fruit trees in your urban backyard, or a full-scale multi-acre commercial orchard.

Beautiful, full of hard-won information, humble, practical.

Eric Toensmeier / author of Paradise Lot

A visually appealing film that delivers at both the environmental and economic level, while setting the stage for a new modern standard for commercial fruit production.

Jenn Jennings /

Film contents

  • creating habitat for birds / pollinators
  • natural pest control techniques
  • the trio system / plant combinations
  • the shrub herbaceous layers
  • seed planting of annuals
  • planting fruit trees / drainage considerations
  • tree training vs. pruning
  • grafting / overgrafting
  • creating habitat for birds / pollinators
  • natural pest control techniques
  • the trio system / plant combinations
  • the shrub herbaceous layers
  • seed planting of annuals
  • planting fruit trees / drainage considerations
  • tree training vs. pruning
  • grafting / overgrafting
  • starting your own trees vs. buying trees
  • mulch options with a focus on plastic mulch and why/how
  • drip irrigation
  • the importance of cultivar selection
  • the grocery aisle concept
  • spraying / fungi control
  • tree protection
  • frost protection

Trained as a biologist and landscape architect, Stefan Sobkowiak has taught fruit production, landscape plants and design, and natural history of vertebrates at Montreal’s McGill University. He owned a landscape design firm for 20 years, developping hundreds of projects for private, institutional and municipal clients. He’s been teaching permaculture in Quebec since 1995 and has given numerous presentations and workshops in Europe, New Zealand, United States and Canada.

Stefan is the owner of Miracle Farms since 1993.

469 reviews for The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic

  1. Linda P.

    Great video. Clear, concise! Gave great ideas on how to start a permaculture orchard and maintain it. As a newbie it is a great additional resource, probably will be my first go to as I am in the same growing zone. I also screen saved a lot of the guilds so when I am shopping or trading shrubs, etc I already have a list ready.
    I am also planning expanding an orchard in my back paddock, will be using his grafting technique to start my orchard nursery. All in all, loved it!

  2. Joel A.

    the digital download was ok and i watched it with full enthusiasm. It was informative and i’ve learned a lot from it. hope you guys make another video just like Geoff Lawton. Different approaches in different situation. More power and keep it going guys.


  3. Steve G.

    Amazing movie, from start to finish. Very well researched, and presented as such. I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves good, honest, farming (and food!).

  4. Raymond S.


  5. Don S.


  6. Karla U.

    This is a well-written, beautifully filmed guide filled with ideas and, more importantly, practical techniques, that you can use to create your own orchard. You walk the orchard with the Master; however, it feels more like you are walking with an old friend. Stefan shares his knowledge without being preachy, and has suggestions on how you might do it differently or better than he did. I watched the documentary the first time through just to inhale the beauty of it – for I knew the cinematography was going to be scrumptious from the trailer. The music is whimsical and will make you smile. My subsequent viewings have me pressing the pause button many times to write down a guild I’d like to try, or note down how I might prune my trees to enhance fruit production, or to pluck out some other gem and see how it applies to my situation. Perfect for someone preparing to put fruit trees on their land and the guilds that go with them. Every time I watch this film, I learn something new. This is not “food forest” in the way that Geoff Lawton explains it – this is commercial and backyard “orcharding” using permaculture principals and ideas; however, I do not see that “orcharding” and “food forest (in Geoff’s presentations)” are mutually exclusive – more like complementary and also facets of the same gem. The full HD download will take a while. A long while if you are on a slow connection. It’s so worth the wait. Looking forward to more films by Oliver and Stefan and team.

  7. Beth H.

    Awesome video, I learned so much.
    After losing two trees this spring, I will never plant except in the fall. The tree training was great, I think “do you want a tree, or a fruit tree?” will be forever running through my mind. The music is so fun and catchy!
    Thank you for your willingness to share so much.

  8. rob a.

    It is great! Thanks for making it!

  9. Nathaniel R.

    It was a great, and information filled DVD.

  10. William D.

    Excellent documentary. Very informative. Well thought out. I look forward to the next.

  11. Matt M.

    Beautifully shot and produced, a comprehensive review of everything you need to know to do permaculture orchard management, grafting, etc. I’ve watched it twice now and plan to watch it again before fall planting. Definitely lots of great information.

  12. Andreae C.

    So inspiring! This is a beautiful film and I’ve recommended it to so many of my like-minded friends. Everyone involved deserves a big round of congratulations – this is a wonderful accomplishment.

  13. Jess D.

    I still haven’t been able to download it although, I’d love to see it. I wish I could upgrade to the next level without loosing the money I already contributed.

  14. Cathy F.

    This is a wonderful film full of excellent information! I will save years of ‘learn by doing’ by setting off on the right path, using tips that Stephan has generously and enthusiastically shared in The Permaculture Orchard. I highly recommend this for urban gardeners (like myself) or those running large scale commercial orchards. Thanks to the whole crew for this production! Very enjoyable. Something you will watch over and over again to be able to absorb the volume of information presented!

  15. Darlene M.


  16. Thomas K.

    Love it! I would like to see even more detailed info if possible. It would be hard to get to the farm for a tour, so maybe a video geared toward that could be next on the horizon

  17. Ben F.

    Nice work – top notch!

  18. Wendy

    Enjoyed this DVD – always interested in seeing what people around the world do in different situations. There’s always something relevant to learn and apply to your own area. Also brilliant Australian music by Formidable Vegetable Sound System!

  19. Dana W.

    I am so happy to have been a part of this project coming to fruition. I originally donated to the Permaculture Orchard – Beyond Organic, because my wife wants to create a permaculture garden in our backyard. I am not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination, but found myself fascinated as I watched the film. The clarity of explanations even made me feel intelligent and the production quality of the film was likewise excellent. Would highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in bettering the environment while wanting to enjoy healthier and better tasting fruits and vegetables. Loved it, from start to finish! Well done!!!

  20. Christopher M.

    We love the film. Exceptional and inspiring!

  21. Toni M.

    Lots of ideas Well worth it, especially when starting out.

  22. Joseph P.

    Certainly the most insightful permaculture experience I’ve had. Immediately implementable tips and fantastic long term insight. It is as if you had “The Man Who Planted Trees” in a challenging climate zone with permaculture. Absolutely amazing!

  23. anna b.

    it is definitely an excellent video to learn the basics of grafting, planting and introducing new trees into the orchard. the details are so descriptive you can watch the video and then just do it yourself. i really appreciate his overall outlook in seeing his orchard as part of a larger ecosystem, one that benefits the biodiversity of species and seeks to cultivate land that supports more than his own consumption. my only critique is i thought the video was going to be more about permaculture land design and larger principals of design systems at work in his orchard, which he starts to talk about and draws examples of swells in the dirt in beginning of the film but never really discusses anymore. the rest of the film is specifics about his orchard. it felt more like here’s how i do it, here’s what i learned in the process and ends with instructions of how to s. permaculture-smraculture

  24. Monique B.

    Wow! I’m very pleased so farm we’re not done yet, we watched about half of it , super informative, it was even a date night for my husband and I, it was great! Love the music, and the whole structure to it is stylish, clean and precise how to’s. Well done! Merci beaucoup, j’ai hate de venir vous voir!

  25. Erik L.

    This is an excellent video, I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to skip a few of the lessons from the school of hard knocks when setting up their orchard operation. I’ve written a full review here, if you’d like to check it out:

  26. Mary J.

    Inspirational! So full of common sense. Pruning techniques sound promising.

  27. Richard G.


  28. Jay

    Excellent quality and valuable insights

  29. Sarah C.

    Seriously fantastic vid to watch for beginners and intermediates! We enjoyed every second and the quality was outstanding!

  30. Nathan H.


  31. Jason L.

    I think this is a great movie to fill your mind with possibilities on how to create an abundant garden.

  32. Windora B.

    Very good video.

  33. Robert B.

    Wonderful! Have viewed it several times and picked up something new each time.

  34. Ossie D.

    Excellent. I plan to use this info in my garden

  35. gregory d.

    Fantastic stuff, great information professionaly presented.

  36. Joshua S.

    Brilliantly produced.

  37. Duarte A.

    Amazing! 😀

    Two things to point out:

    Grafting: Instead of using rubber you could use raffia straw. A friend of mine who is a producer told me it naturally falls down (and decomposes on the ground) when no longer needed, avoiding the work of taking it off 😉

    Root stimulant: Instead of using it, the portuguese intitute of agronomy found that if you scrath the bark alongside the branch (with your pruning scissors, for example) and stick it on the ground almost horizontally with the scratched surface down, the chances of success rose to a staggering 85% (if i’m not mistaken)

    Thank you for such a lovely and insightful presentation 🙂

  38. Marion U.

    Really love the practicality of the film. Hope to see a sequel soon.
    There was an issue with the picture during some seconds of the film, but overall it did not change the quality.

  39. Gavin M.

    I loved it. Full of good information. I was very happy that I got in early with kickstarter

  40. Robert S.

    An excellent film containing lots of useful information on establishing and running a Permaculture orchard. Contains useful principles that can be applied in different climatic situations. Inspiring. Highly recommended!

  41. Sebastien M.

    Perfect. what’s more to say.

  42. Jayne C.

    A fantastic watch. Very informative with wonderful presentation.

  43. Yue G.

    It is a wondering movie, it introduced me to such a great way of making the world a better place by respecting nature.

  44. Milton D.


  45. Monika D.

    Love love loved it! it is now my dream to follow in your footsteps. you are a true inspiration.

  46. Ryan R.

    Amazing! Strong recommendation for anyone interested in growing fruit trees.

  47. James S.

    Without doubt, the best piece of permaculture video education.

  48. Maryanne P.

    This film was excellent!!! It answered so many questions and was the most helpful I have ever seen on how to start a permaculture enterprise. The filming was also really well done. My whole family loved it. Thank you so much for this beautiful film!! Maryanne Pemberton from Peterborough, ON

  49. barry p.

    very enjoyable, practical, great content,

  50. Diego R.

    Highly reccomended!!!

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