Mark Shepard will lead a 3-day extended workshop on Restoration Agriculture. The workshop will draw extensively on Mark’s experience establishing and developing New Forest Farm as one of North America’s largest and most innovative perennial farm ecosystems.
Using nature as a model, Restoration Agriculture is the intentional restoration of healthy, functional ecosystems as the context for economically-viable farm operations. Perennial crops, fungus, and pollinators are integrated to produce abundant food, fiber, and fuel crops while simultaneously restoring critical ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water purification and infiltration, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity.
In this extended Restoration Agriculture workshop, farmer/entrepreneur/author Mark Shepard will bring the carbon farming conversation full circle by integrating Permaculture Design, Holistic Management, Keyline Design, whole living ecosystems, ecological restoration and production agriculture. After a brief critique of annual crops agriculture, participants will be introduced to biome and natural plant community mimicry as a method of designing permanent agricultural systems.
Participants will be immersed in the strategic how-to’s of implementing Restoration Agriculture beginning with the agroforestry techniques of Alleycropping and multi-species Silvopasture grazing. Mark will also cover how to implement water management systems based off of natural patterns and informed by Keyline patterning pioneered by P.A. Yeomans. Inputs-based agriculture, pest and disease cycles, compost & compost teas, nitrogen-fixing woody plants, 16-brick rocket stoves, herb spirals and hugulkulture all get a mention before winding up with a passionate call to arms for all farmers, land owners or aspirants, to rise to the challenges of our times, to live and work toward the creation of an ecologically healthy food system, culture and economy.
Cost:$600($300 deposit) plus Eventbrite fees. To avoid these fees, cash or check are welcome. Email WildEarthFarm@gmail.com to arrange this.
Cancellation policy: 90% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before course begins. 80% refund if cancelled with less than 30 days before course begins. 75% refund if cancelled less than 7 days before course begins. If there is a waiting list and we can fill your spot, you will receive a 90% refund. Refund will be based on amount paid at the time of cancellation.
Three vegan meals are provided each day.
Free camping site on our farm. Other local accommodations please refer to the 2016 Vegan Permaculture Design Course page.
- Full immersion in the theory and practice of Restoration Agriculture
- Biome identification and ecology
- Keyline design, earthworks, and water management
- Perennial crop establishment, maintenance, and breeding
- Pruning, coppicing, and grafting
- Integrated multi-species grazing
- Renewable energy on the farm
- Restoration Agriculture economics
Mark Shepard is a farmer. He created and runs New Forest Farm near Viola, Wisconsin, the 110-acre perennial agricultural savanna considered by many to be one of the most ambitious regenerative agriculture projects in the United States. New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna and successional brush land as the ecological models. Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest derived agricultural products for human foods and biofuels production. He is co-founder of Restoration Agriculture Development and Restoration Agriculture International. In 2013 he authored the best-selling book Restoration Agriculture.