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. Richard P.

    Full of practical advice that we are able to use on our smallholding, or would even use in our garden. Watching Stefan explain how he runs his orchard is inspiring. Its also so beautifully shot. I suspect this will become a classic the world over…

  2. Neil V.

    Excellent information and wonderful footage. Simple enough for most anyone to understand. Highly recommend this inspiring video.

  3. Steve A.

    Superbly filmed and a superb learning resource.

  4. Rick A.

    Slick! I really enjoyed it. Lots of good info there. Production quality was impressive and I really enjoyed watching. Rock on, Stefan! 🙂

  5. Joe O.

    Really amazing documentary! We are working on setting up an urban orchard along a bike trail, and this movie was inspirational as well as extremely practical. I will be watching again and again. Thank you – Joe

  6. Tyler K.


  7. Ian W.

    The production quality was excellent and the information was well presented. Some great ideas in there too!

  8. Christian M.

    Fantastic. Keep making films!!

  9. Jason H.

    Really enjoyed this video, very well produced and I learned a lot.

  10. Pete W.

    Excellent walkthrough with each stage of the orchard design carefully dissected and made simple. Must have for all interested in Permaculture/Regenerative Agriculture.

  11. Danae Y.

    an inspiration to go beyond organic! Practical ideas, real life examples, valuable addition to the knowledge base of how we can bring more life into orchards and more orchards into our lives.

  12. Emily C.

    This was a very helpful review of how to set up a permaculture orchard. It will inform many of our decisions on our own urban edible forest. The fruit tree pruning method was fascinating (and not what you think, even if you already know how to prune). I also really liked the species list of recommended plants and the animated illustrations showing how to incorporate trees, shrubs and herbs… More food, more diversity on the same space!


  13. David E.

    This is so epic and amazing. Dude is a complete beast when it comes to growing plants the smart and easy way. Definitely worth every penny and then some with the value of this film. So happy to have supported on kickstarter – good luck

  14. James H.

    Love every minute

  15. Thomas P.

    Very well done. Charming and Educational. I could taste those apples!

  16. Doug B.

    I love this video!

  17. Carson B.

    It was fantastic. I’ve watched it twice already and plan on implementing a number of the methods discussed to my own projects. I will be watching it again and again in the future. Good fuckin job guys!!

  18. Nick P.

    Awesome Awesome Awesome!

    Please do one on other kinds of farming/growing!

  19. David M.

    If I could watch it on my MAC I’d probably love but I can’t because the format won’t run. Not sure why

  20. Kara G.

    This is a gem of a movie–so much information, very comprehensive, beautifully filmed. I’ve watched it at least 5 times, and I’m still picking up tips. I hope there will be a sequel.

  21. Francis L.


  22. David B.

    Great look at a Permaculture Orchard. Makes a good introduction to Permaculture ideas.

  23. Tiffany Z.

    This was an wonderful amount of information, especially for a colder climate. Exactly what I have been looking for!

  24. Joshua O.

    Good video, provided lots of useful information for planning permaculture fruit ventures. Would love to have a book or other more in-depth reference materials to go with it.

  25. Bob J.

    Very practical information and very knowledgeable presenter. Content is logically organized and delivered in such a way that I felt he was talking directly to me and answering all my questions!

  26. Patrick A.


  27. Xavier L.

    Waited over 3 weeks to get the DVD.
    A couple of interesting new concept but mostly know content.

    Was not worth 45$.

  28. Sally C.

    The presentation was nicely done. I continue to be very inspired. Thanks for making this information available.

  29. Claude G.

    Many good pointers… Excellent!

  30. Andrew P.

    Fantastic movie about implementing a permaculture u-pick orchard in Canada.

  31. Richard H.

    Stefan does a great job explaining all the various parts of his organization. The filming provides a huge amount of eye candy. The music in the film is awesome. I think that Stefan could be a little more permaculture than he is, and a little less orchard, but it seems to be working for him.

  32. Norma B.

    Excellent presentation and great information. Absolutely needed for going forward on our ranch. Worth a million…!

  33. Katrin K.

    Very informative, I look forward to putting this info into practice some day when I actually have property of my own.

  34. Dig G.


  35. Kyle R.

    Great video content. Even better was the quality and editing made the information enjoyable to watch and share!

  36. Jacob L.

    This is a superb manual for the basics of starting och converting to a permaculture orchard. Lots of good tips and great quality production.

  37. John S.

    This film was terrific. I was looking for something inspiring and informative with respect to growing food. This documentary delivered. Thank you.

  38. Melvin H.

    The Permaculture Orchard is an awesome introduction to designing and managing a PYO permaculture orchard in tune with nature and its members. And, Stefan Sobkowiak is the penultimate host and orchardist who is at ease when translating the reasons behind his decision to move from organic growing to a permaculture design. The film follows Stefan from season to season as he informs viewers about the tasks required, the potential issues and solutions, and best practices. Olivier Asselin, the creator and producer, has made a film that captures the imagination and inspires permaculture enthusiasts to follow Sobkowiak’s instruction. The quality of the production is crystal clear. Since purchasing The Permaculture Orchard, I have watched the film at least once a week. Stefan has developed a system and design that can be replicated by others, but with the cautionary disclaimer that each grower must come to understand their own environment and design accordingly. Of course, this instruction is inherent in the principles of permaculture. Nonetheless, the core practices in Stefan’s design can be applied to any orchard or polyculture environment, for that matter.

  39. Laura S.

    Great video, entertaining and informative!

  40. Martin M.

    Even though I have been reading up on permaculture techniques for some time I still found several good ideas within this film. I hope this film helps spread the word a little more. It is a great piece of reference material to introduce people to permaculture and how it really can make great business sense. Any good investor knows the importance of diversification. Turns out that diversification is important when growing food too.

  41. Dave M.

    Excellent production! Stefan is doing some great work at his place. So glad to see this in such high quality film.

  42. Megan W.

    Exactly what we were hoping for!

  43. William K.

    Probably the best Permaculture-related documentary out there. Best thing about this, is that it’s extremely informative. It’s not just a movie about someone’s success. It’s instructional the whole way through, and because of that, it exceeded my expectations big time. I can’t recommend a better documentary along these lines.

  44. Koren V.

    As a horticulturalist, I bought the film for enjoyment, but I actually leaned a ton of new techniques to try, such as training rather than simply pruning. It was easy to watch too, I liked the music and pace.

  45. Karen F.

    The best video on Permaculture done to date. Easy to understand, simple, clear. A ‘must purchase’ in my opinion.

  46. Mark J.

    Amazing. I’ve read so many permaculture books and done a PDC and I still learned so much.

  47. nate n.

    A well done production with many good ideas.

  48. Mark W.

    Fantastic intro level film. Clearly and beautifully produced. Lots of information for the beginner through the experienced orchardist. Great source of information and inspiration. Buy it.

  49. Richard P.

    There were lots of ideas presented in the DVD that are applicable to my small orchard.

  50. Robert C.

    Brilliant. I have new skills.

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