Northeast Oklahoma and surrounding regions are in for a treat when Mark Shepard conducts an Agroforestry/Permaculture "weekend intensive" in the Tahlequah area on November 4 through 7 (or longer if more farms want walking/talking tours).
Mark is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises and runs New Forest Farm, the 106 acre perennial agricultural forest considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States.
Read about Mark Shepard's work here: http://permaculture.org.au/2010/12/18/mark-shepherds-106-acre-permaculture-farm-in-viola-wisconsin/
and here: http://littlehouseontheurbanprairie.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/new-forest-farm-visit/
The weekend will consist of a free and open-to-the-public lecture on Friday evening. The weekend intensive course will start with a lecture Saturday morning followed by practical application through walking and talking tours at local farms Saturday afternoon through Monday evening and beyond if desired.
This event is possible due to a grant from Sustainable Green Country, NSU Committee for Sustainability (assistance in locating lecture space), generosity of River Bend Catering, participating farms, and workshop attendees. Many thanks to all!!! If there are any proceeds raised above Mark Shepard's fees, they will be used to start a Sustainable Tahlequah Lecture Series aimed at bringing regional and national sustainability/regenerative farming experts to the Tahlequah area.
Fees for participants:
Friday: Free and open to the public
Saturday: $55 per person
Sunday: $45 per person
Monday: $45 per person
If you are serious about agroforestry/permaculture and would like to attend this course but the participant fee is a barrier, please contact Julie Gahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (918) 207-9107.
Friday evening Lecture 7 pm to 9 pm:
NSU Webb Building, Room 614
Introduction to agroforestry, ecologically designed farming and permaculture including a brief history of agriculture, followed by a brief introduction to ecosystem mimicry, then on to some Permaculture design principles and how we apply them on an agricultural scale.
Saturday morning Lecture 8 am to 11 am:
NSU Webb Building, Room 614
Earth shaping and water management in the farm-scale agroforestry/permaculture system and introduction to stacking and succession.
Saturday Lunch 11:30 am to 12:30 pm (Riverbend Catering!)
Gahn farm on Double Spring Creek
(You're invited to leave your suggestion for our farm name!)
Saturday Walking and Talking Tour 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm:
Gahn farm at Double Spring Creek
(Bring clipboards and pens)
During the tour of the farm, the owners will discuss with Mark:
-- Earth shaping and water management
-- Perennial polycultures and succession appropriate for our location
-- Logistics of harvesting in a polyculture system e.g. how to harvest tons of nuts in a "stacked" situation
-- Processing nuts (Mark's hazelnut invention)
-- Integration of animals into nut/fruit plantings
-- Practical advice for a newbie getting their first farm animals
-- Recommendations on enterprises that could be undertaken & collaborations that could be sought
-- Selling to the "nut" markets?
-- Wood gas from nut hulls?
-- Alcohol Can Be a Gas -- is David Blume's book sound from an engineering standpoint?
-- Should we be planning/designing systems to produce our own vehicle fuel from alcohol?
-- Complementary fruit products?
-- How to practically go "off-grid"
(Participants are welcome to ask questions too.)
We are in the finalizing the schedule for Sunday and Monday (at this point four more farms have expressed interest in hosting at least a 1/2 day walking/talking tour. Mark Shepard is driving to Tahlequah, giving him the option to extend his stay, and additional farms are welcome to arrange for a walking and talking tour. Please contact Julie Gahn at email@example.com or (918) 207-9107 for further information.
We hope you can come learn about Mark's approach to agroforestry, permaculture and regenerative farming!
Gahn Farm at Double Spring Creek