Agriculture is only sustainable if it is economically viable and can nourish us. By mimicking nature, we can produce a system that creates no pollution, generates a profit, and provides nutrition more akin to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors enjoyed with respect to their biome.
Mark Shepard, author of Restoration Agriculture and permaculture practitioner, has been walking this walk for more than 20 years. We are excited to have him teach here at White Oak Pastures!
And we have another fantastic instructor on-board, Dr. Wayne Dorband, who will be sharing his expertise on such topics as Ecological Aquaculture, Ecological Livestock Management Strategies and Sustainable Business Development.
This Restoration Agriculture Workshop is designed to give the perfect blend of education and experience:
Principles gleaned from interacting with natural systems and inspiration on how to design a system for you and your land.
Selection of Perennial Woody Crops
Read the Landcape
Identify and practice those principles with observaion and with measuring equipment.
Identifying keylines in the field
Tools and strategies for implemting Restoration Agriculture designs including equipment demos and surveying tools.
Using a site level
Building swales, pocket ponds and drives-throughs that are compatible with keyline design
Here is a video of highights of Mark Shepard at Mountain Sky Ranch, owned and operated by Dr. Wayne Dorband and his wife, Deb. This is merely a glimpse of what you will get at the Workshop at White Oak Pastures.
Restoration Agriculture & White Oak Pastures
White Oak Pastures is a 150 year old multigenerational family farm that cooperates with nature to produce artisan products. We work hard to ensure that all of our production practices are Fair, Sustainable, and Humane. We never fail to conduct our business in an honorable manner, for the sake of our animals, our land, and our people who produce and consume our goods.
The goals of this Restoration Agriculture project is to increase resiliency of the land through enhancing watershed managment, increase diversity in value-added perennial tree crops and to serve as an educational resesarch hub.
Below is the tentative outline for the workshop. Activities are ultimately weather-dependent and are subject to adjustment. Please come prepared for ample learning and for hands-on activites in the field!
Supplies to consider bringing along includes but is not limited to notebooks, writing utensils, cameras, sun protection, wind protection, rain gear, long pants, and comfortable close-toed shoes. It is also wise to carry your own supply of fresh water and a snack to keep you nourished during any prolonged periods of field activities between lunch and dinnertime.
New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as the ecological models.
Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food (for humans and animals), fuel, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and various fruits are the primary woody crops. The farm is entirely solar and wind powered.
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 bio fuels production. Mark was certified as a Permaculture designer in 1993 and received his Diploma of Permaculture Design from Bill Mollison, the founder of the international Permaculture movement.
Dr. Wayne Dorband
As a serial ecopreneur, Wayne Dorband directs a number of different businesses that are all somewhat inter-related. They range from consulting and advising to investors and buyers in the environmentally impaired real estate world (brownfields at www.dorbandassociates.com), to running a "becoming" sustainable small acreage farm/ranch in Northern Colorado (www.mountainskyranchllc.com), to being an evangelist for teaching people to feed themselves (www.nourishtheplanet.com). For a summary on the projects he has worked on, check out his profile on LinkedIn!
Wayne's passion for teaching and for showing ways for folks to make a little money making the planet better inspired his latest project called the Ecolonomic Action Team, or EAT for short. EAT is a collection of educational webinars related to Restoration Agriculture, covering topics including Ecological Aquaculture, Sustainable Business Development, Permaculture, Forest Ecology, and Soil Health led all by instructors who are experts in their respective fields.
Wayne has a PhD in Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology from the University of Idaho, a MS in Marine Ecology and Aquaculture from San Diego State University, a BS in Biology from the University of California, Irvine, and an AA in Liberal Arts from Bethany Lutheran College. He is passionate about providing people of all ages with a broad range of solutions that will enable the world to feed itself.