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.
ALL ATTENDEES WILL ALSO RECEIVE A FREE MEMBERSHIP TO THE ECOLONOMIC ACTION TEAM (EAT FREE) WHERE YOU CAN HEAR MARK SPEAK AND TEACH EVERY WEEK ALONG WITH MANY OTHER AMAZING COACH/TEACHERS.
Come and Watch Will Harris, iconic owner of White Oak Pastures at a Free Webinar. Register Now! Right Below!
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.
Identify and practice those principles with observaion and with measuring equipment.
Tools and strategies for implemting Restoration Agriculture designs including equipment demos and surveying tools.
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.
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.
Continental Breakfast (provided)
Afternoon: Outdoor learning
Farm to Table Dinner (not included)
Continental Breakfast (provided)
Afternoon: Outdoor learning
We are located on Highway 27, 80 miles South of Columbus, GA and 80 miles North of Tallahassee, FL. We are also approximately a 3-hour drive from the Atlanta Airport.
From the map provide, you can generate your directions to get to us. See you here soon!
There are a number of lodging options to choose from. From camping to glamorous cabins, select what is right for you and reserve it early!
Limited lodging is available on-site. There are both a limited number of cabins and some limited space for non-improved camping Contact White Oak Pastures to discuss options and reserve your space early!
Quail Country Plantation, Arlington- a beautiful hunting lodge 26 miles from the farm. 866-59-QUAIL
Days Inn, Blakely - a hotel 9.3 miles S of the farm. (229) 723-5858
Kolomoki Mounds State Park - approximately 8 miles from the farm and full of unique Indian artifacts! (229) 724-2150
George T. Bagby State Park and Lodge - 23 miles NE of the farm. (229) 768-2571, camping and RV Space Available.
Mark Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC and founder of Restoration Agriculture Development Inc. He runs New Forest Farm, the 106-acre perennial agricultural savanna considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable 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, 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.
thank you Mark for the extra insights in soil building. The initial water management information was exactly what I needed to see for my land.
- Bryant Redhawk
...in reading the landscape. People usually say observe the site for a full year, Mark on the other side can teach us how to observe 300 years of history in one minute.
- William Horvath
...and eye opening about the way to properly plan for rainfall distribution. Very timely for our farm as we are in the planning stages for establishing a woody polyculture agroforestry system. Thanks.
- Benjamin Michael
White Oak Pastures
May 20 and 21, 2017 in Bluffton, Georgia
Restoration Agriculture Workshop
with Mark Shepard and Dr. Wayne Dorband