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Restoration Agricultu... BGE-1621

NAME: Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers

AUTHOR: Mark Shepard

DATE/ED: 2013

PAGES: 339

SEC: Permaculture & Self-Sufficiency

DESC: Every single human society that has relied on annual crops as staple foods has collapsed. Mark Shepard presents a method for creating a perennial agriculture ecosystem that feeds us and improves the quality of our environment. An excellent book, well-written and engaging. Offers a recipe for converting commercial farmland to a Permaculture model. He frankly discusses farm income and improved nutrition through his method. Amazon top seller in tree gardening

PRICE: $30.00

WEIGHT: 1.27 lbs

When I first started reading Restoration Agriculture, my initial reaction was, "That is so cool!", quickly followed by, "Can you really make it work?". The short answer is, "Yes." mark has written this book largely based on his own successful experience at New Forest Farm, a 106-acrea commercial scale perennial agriculture ecosystem that was converted from a row-crop grain farm… Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers is a long overdue call to revolutionize farming as we know it. Mark Shephard shares a vision of renewed soils, diverse ecosystems and healthy watersheds - filled with an abundance of nutrient rich food crops. He begins with some background information on agriculture as we know it, and then progresses to the new reality of permaculture farming - restoration agriculture. -- Common Sense Homesteading

Personal reviews from the web:

As an ecologist and an anthropologist who happens to own a farm in the Midwest, I've independently come to the same conclusion as Mr. Shepherd: Our current farming methods are highly unsustainable and will result in ecological and economic collapse if not reversed. Shepherd goes further in his book by laying out the foundations for a new agriculture for the Midwest (and elsewhere), one whose methods turn agriculture on its head by rebuilding soil, replenishing aquifers, and relying on renewable instead of non-renewable inputs. In a nutshell: Our current methods essentially mine and sterilize the soil. Shepherd, a trained forester, encourages farmers to focus on long term ecological health and productivity instead of corporate farm profit-driven productivity based on annual crops and petrochemicals. --- jmh49

Trapped in conventional agriculture and yearning for a way out? Do you want to build something lasting and self sustaining? Do you want to do something for the planet that feels right? Permaculture always sounded appealing to me but what was missing was the information about how to apply it to my family farm. In this book Mark Shepard explains how and why conventional mono-crop agriculture is a death spiral of planet wide proportions. And then points a way out that has worked for him for 17 years. Anyone who wants a career in agriculture needs to read this book. Any farmer who dreams of the day that his land produces more than it consumes, needs to read this book. - Mike Nees

I totally enjoyed this book. Although other reviewers complained that he didn't give specifics about what plants to grow and how to put them in the ground (I mean, seriously guys--you each have a planting zone; he gave you the plant families and how to intermingle them--do your own research), that's not really what I wanted from the book. I wanted to better understand the overarching principles and how I can apply them to my own measly few acres. He more than gave me that information, as well as how it can work with my cows and chickens and, if I can talk my husband into it, pigs. Not only that he gave me ideas and glimmers of ideas on what is possible with what I have. I can run with it from there. And best of all I now practice the STUN (Sheer, Total, Utter, Neglect) planting method. I love it! - Denise Domning

Corn produces about 13 million calories per acre annually, and Mr. Shepard suggests that a perennial system with perhaps a few annuals alley-cropped, can produce 6 million calories per acre. He says nutritionally there is simply no comparison between a monocrop of corn and the variety of a perennial system - the nutrition of the perennial system is vastly superior to a corn-based diet. The benefits of a perennial system are reduced cost in seed, gasoline or diesel fuel, and tractor maintenance, along with drastically improved soil, minimal tillage, greater capacity for photosynthesis, and an astonishing diversity of yields over a greater period of time. His findings give me hope that there truly is a different way to feed large numbers of people in a way that builds rather than destroys soil, is comparable to annual agriculture in caloric yields, is superior nutritionally, requires FAR fewer fossil-fuel based inputs, and is better for people. The type of thing he is doing seems to be the foundation of a relocalized economy. - GregD

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