Restoration Agriculture August 18, 2014
Bill Taylor's guest (Jaye is away so I am soloing this month) is Mark Shepard, who runs New Forest Farm in Southwest Wisconsin and wrote Restoration Agriculture (Acres USA, 2013). He discusses perennial agriculture on a farm scale, and a model for interns that fosters resilience in them; it is very different from most internships in that interns build their own shelter and start their own business using the farm as land base for it.
Locally, permaculturist Rain Tenaqiya is teaching a new course on Sustainable Agricultural Systems starting this Thursday:
This fall semester, Mendocino College in Ukiah will offer a new course on Sustainable Agricultural Systems, taught by Rain Tenaqiya, permaculture designer and author of West Coast Food Forestry. This two-unit course begins on August 21 and meets on Thursdays from 2 to 4:50 pm at the Ukiah campus of Mendocino College. With climate change and rising food and energy prices, the need for sustainable local food production has never been greater. This class is a survey of sustainable farming through history and into the future. It will provide students with the basic ideas necessary to farm and live more sustainably, with a focus on the special issues of our local climate and soils.
The course will cover the history, definitions, concepts, principles and practices of sustainable agricultural systems. It will also examine case studies and expose the student to field-based learning through labs and field trips. Topics will include: history of sustainable farming, ecology, patterns in the landscape, sustainable design, learning from existing systems, soil, water, air, energy, trees, animals, and integrated pest management.
Instructor Rain Tenaqiya started studying permaculture over twenty years ago, and began teaching in 1999. In 2002, he helped start a permaculture design business in the Santa Cruz area. He moved to Ukiah in 2004 to establish a permaculture homestead demonstration site. He has reduced his carbon footprint by 90% of the U.S. average and grows much of his own food.