S2E44: Can permaculture scale?—w/ Mark Shepard, author of Restoration Agriculture

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We have destroyed or severely disrupted many of the perennial ecosystems that were here in favor of annual crops. Crops that require the use of herbicide and mulch year after year until, eventually, the soil is depleted and we move on. So, how can we use the design principles of permaculture to restore the ecology of the planet, provide ourselves with all the food, fuels and fibers we need, and make money while we’re at it? And at scale no less!

Agroforestry farmer and permaculturist Mark Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises, Founder of Restoration Agriculture Development, and award-winning author of Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers. On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Mark joins Ross and Christophe to share his understanding of permaculture, explaining how he applies its principles in a way that allows for scale and designs practical systems around the individual farmer’s machinery.

Mark introduces us to his idea of STUN agriculture (Strategic Total Utter Neglect), describing how nature solves every problem farmers have—at no cost and with very little effort. Listen in for insight on where science falls short in supporting the transition to restoration agriculture and learn how we can leverage permaculture to build economies around ecologically-designed systems.

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Resources

Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers by Mark Shepard

Water for Any Farm by Mark Shepard

New Forest Farm

Forest Agriculture Enterprises

Restoration and Agriculture Development

Mark on Acres USA

Bill Mollison

David Holmgren

Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture by J. Russell Smith

The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka

Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit by Andrew Moore

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