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Regenerative Agriculture

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Jason Hurd

on 13 August 2014

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Transcript of Regenerative Agriculture

Conventional Agriculture

But We Can Do Even More...
Who We Are
Current Projects
Our Story
"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."--Masanobu Fukuoka

"We cannot solve the significant problems we face at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."--Albert Einstein

Regenerative Agriculture
Our Certifications
EAT Course in Vermont
3-Acre Property in Decatur, TN
6-Acre CSA in Madison, WI
Functionally and culturally disconnected
10 cal. of energy = 1 cal. of food
Highly fragile
Low resilience
Little or no diversity
High rate of nutrient flux and erosion
High management requirements
Chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides
High food production
Using fossil fuels
Conventional Western Agriculture
Diverse and highly resilient to fire, drought and infestation
Functionally connected
Little nutrient flux or erosion
Nutrients come from local biomass
No human maintenance requirements
No waste
Canopy uses most solar energy
Low human food production
Full Canopy Forest
USDA Approved Practice
5 Elements:
Alley Cropping
Riparian Buffers
Forest Farming
Alley Cropping
Riparian Buffer
Forest Farming
Multi-story Cropping
Earthworks and Keyline Design
Fertility Farming
Holistic Management
Multi-story Cropping with Perennial Polycultures
Keyline Design
Sculpts the earth to catch and store rainwater directly in the landscape
Drought-proofs the landscape
Fire-proofs the landscape
Little or no need for expensive irrigation systems
Fertility Farming

Holistic Management

Holistic Managment
Biologically Active Compost Teas
New Forest Farm
Village Homes
New Forest Farm
Village Homes

The Real Value of Agro-ecosystems
Immense Environmental Impact
Greatly increases biodiversity and system health at every level
Virtually ends erosion
Creates new topsoil: 4-6" annually on broad acreage
Sequesters atmospheric carbon
Provides habitat for beneficial species
Effects On Production
Greatly increases overall system production
Blows conventional and organic production out of the water!
Greatly diversifies your crop
Adds high-value products:
Fruits and nuts
Perennial vegetables
Pastured and forest raised meats and eggs
Edible/medicinal mushrooms and herbs
No Waste
Value added products
Shepard's Hard Cider
Vermicompost and other soil products
Minimizes human labor
Production costs approach zero over time
Excellent marketing value
Dramatically increases property value
These are place people want to be
We design outdoor "living rooms" (and class rooms too!)
Ecological Design Process: Creating A Permanent Agriculture
Goals Articulation
"Goals guide the analysis and assessment."

Site Analysis and Assessment (SAA)
"SAA discovers the design."
Site investigation using the scale of permanence
We'll produce a summary
Schematic Design
"Graphic brain-storming"
Generates 2-3 design options
Detailed Design
Refines and defines the chosen scheme
Rough budget
Patch Design
Final design integration
Planting diagrams with species lists
Accurate, detailed drawings
Construction details
Detailed budget

Two options:

Instant succession
All design elements installed at once

Phased Succession
Several smaller instant succession nuclei that merge
Implementation over a longer specified timeline
Evaluation and Maintenance
Overlaps with implementation during a phased succession
Disturbance as maintenance
Humans are a "keystone" species required for system maintenance
Low to moderate disturbance maximizes production
Quality of life statement
What quality of life do we want?
What resources do we require to sustain that quality of life into the distant future?
Goals Outline
Specific design criteria
Design Concept Development
Summarizes the organizing idea or site-specific vision for the design
How much will all this cost?
Phase I
Goals and SAA
Phase II
Design Concept and Schematic Design
Phase III
Detailed Design and Implementation Plan
Phase IV
Implementation, Evaluation and Maintenance

Organic Production
Marginally better than conventional
Low diversity with intercropping
Pesticides, fungicides and herbicides kill beneficial species too
Exposed soil
Not regenerative!
The most productive system in the world
Supported the great mammals
60% Sunlight Penetration
40% Canopy Shade
Self-renewing fertility
Lots of food!
Savanna Biome
Hourly rate: $45

Estimated Hours: 130

Total: $5,850

Phase I:
Goals and SAA
Hourly rate: $35

Estimated Hours: 170

Total: $5,950
Phase II:
Design Concept and Schematic Design
Hourly rate: $35

Estimated Hours: 330

Total: $11,550
Phase III:
Detailed Design and Implementation Plan
Phase IV:
Evaluation and Maintenance
Total Design Cost
Phase I: $5,850 (130 hrs.)
Phase II: $5, 950 (170 hrs.)
Phase III: $11,550 (330 hrs)
Total Estimated Design Cost:
Total Estimated Hours:
Requires a paid ongoing Project Manager
Annual Salary: $36,000
Phase IV:
Implementation, Evaluation and Maintenance
Implementation cost is entirely dependent on the design
Rough and detailed budgets produced in Phase III
Builds a permanent culture
Food is a foundation of success
High quality of life
Creates equity
Establishes functional social patterns
Full transcript