Alleycropping & Silvopasture – Transitioning to Restoration Agriculture with Mark Shepard


Mark Shepard, Manager of New Forest Farms and author of the book Restoration Agriculture, will introduce the simple Agroforestry practices of Alleycropping and Silvopasture as a method of transitioning your farm from a production system based on annual crops to one dominated by a diversity of long-lived perennial crops including nuts, berries, fruits, and livestock. Attendees will learn detailed information on the establishment, maintenance and harvest of long-lived woody crops while simultaneously maintaining current cash flow. Plenty of photos will be used to show what your farm will look like as it grows and changes through the years increasing in fertility, diversity and resiliency.


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  1. love this guy – did he ever design that disc gold course? 47:45 … could be another great way to produce food for cities, alleycropping golf courses!

  2. Question: Apparently this isn't a problem (?) but, how does one know how much width to allow in the tree lane b4 cutting into the soil to prune the roots, to avoid making the tree vulnerable to falling over in challenging weather situations ( high winds, straight line winds, esp. in extreme rainfall times) ?

  3. 27:43 is the most important thing that permi's miss so much. Purist, high horsed approach to modern agriculture will take you nowhere got to speak their language profit, chemicals, steel. Show me a profitable, law abiding, 2,500 plus acre farm that can actually compete in the commodity market the runs on no steel or chemicals, permicultural designed or otherwise.

  4. 12:10 hmm… um.. i notice alders growing everywhere, and i also notice black locust growing everywhere also… However, i'll concede they are usually found around edges, openings, and succession phases. That would follow agriculture in the permaculture sense however.. The one missing link in that consideration would be fungi, they would move the nitrogen where needed. All i see alders in guilds all the time, around something tap-rooted generally.

  5. Not sure why this guy has to keep twisting permaculture ideas, and put them in false contexts to make what he is pedalling sound better. He is disrespectful, and it's not helping his cause.

  6. I've watched and appreciated many of these presentations. But don't recall any detailed discussion of "weeds" among the herbaceous crops. Can someone direct me to a presentation on this issue? Thanks!

  7. Curious if anyone knows how to spell the name of  that 1000$ ham company in Iowa he refers to near the end of the talk?

  8. I just finished binge watching all his stuff last week! I just love his smarts. We definitely need more smart farmers like him. I pretty much figured out how to feed myself now. Next step: farming. Never thought i would even get this far, let alone consider farming. It's not easy to integrate trees into an existing system. I have planted about 15 trees now. That's as much as my current plot will hold while still allowing for smallfruit and annual/perennial other crops. It is now jam packed. I don't do the whole nitrogen fixer tree thing either except for what will give me an actual yield. Siberian pea shrub. Easy to hedge, easy to coppice, perfect. Thank you, Mr. Shepard!


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