“Mark Shepard, manager of New Forest Farms and author of the book Restoration Agriculture, will offer a critique of annual crop-based staple food production, while laying the ecological framework and reasons for designing a perennial staple food crops farm.
You will gain the basic skills to begin the transition from annuals to a permanent, perennial agriculture incorporating everything from nuts and berries, to livestock and fruits and vegetables.
Shepard’s talk will introduce the concept of ecosystem mimicry, Keyline water management and will help you to chart a path forward to a truly ecologically designed farm. This was presented by Mark Shepard at PV1 in March 2014.”
Mark makes some very interesting points. He challenges annual grain farmers who have ideal topsoil to compete against his tree and shrub system grown on rocky wasteland. Mark believes he will win hands down because it’s so much more productive. Mark’s system is ideal for helping conventional farmers transition into more sustainable permaculture farms that combine trees with crops in between as in the photo below. Farms like these generate a profit every year and enhance biodiversity.
Image source: Association for Temperate Agroforestry