Archive for July, 2014
The “whole foods” shopper feels that by buying organic he is “engaging in authentic experiences” and imaginatively enacting a “return to the utopian past with the positive aspects of modernity intact”.
-Michael Pollan, Author. Excerpts from Omnivores Delemma
“…as for farmers themselves, they have long ago lost control of their destiny. They are no longer ‘independent farmers,’ subscribing to that ancient and perhaps indispensable ideal, but are the agents of their creditors and the market. They are ‘units of production’ who, or which, must perform ‘efficiently’ – regardless of what they get out of it either as investors or human beings.”
-Wendel Berry, Author & Farmer. Gift of Good Land: Further Essays, Cultural and Agricultural
“The character of the farm should be carried out as to express itself in everything which it contains. […] His structures of every kind should be plain, also, yet substantial, where substance is required. All these detract nothing from his respectability or his influence in the neighborhood, the town, the country, or the state. A farmer has quite as much business in the field or about his ordinary occupation with ragged garments, out at the elbows, and gownless hat, as he has to occupy a leaky, wind-broken, and dilapidated house. Neither is he nearer the mark, with a ruffled shirt, a fancy dress, or gloved hands when following his plough behind a pain of fancy horses, than in living in a finical, pretending house, such as we see stuck up in conspicuous places in many parts of the country”
– Donald J Berg, Architect. American Country Building Design: Rediscovered Plans for 19th-century Farmhouses, Cottages, Landscapes, Barns, Carriage Houses & Outbuildings
“The family farm is highly idealized in North America for upholding three valued traditions: the tradition of man-land relationships, the tradition of democracy, and the tradition of efficiency in making the most of one’s resources. The decline of the family-sized farm is viewed by many people, including some sociologists and agricultural economists, with great concern who believe that the institution should be maintained”
-Satadel Dasgupta, Author. Rural Canada: Structure and Change
..and I am sooo excited! For those of you who don’t know Mark Shepard. He is “redeisgning agriculture in nature’s image”. He has a 110 acre forest farm in SW Wisconsin where he has been using his forest agriculture successfully for 18 years. I particularly like Mark Shepard as an example of industrial and sustainable farming coming together seamlessly. He is a practical and down to earth farmer making a good living with permaculture forest agriculture. His personal website is here and he is a founder of the Restoration Agriculture Institute. I highly recommend this youtube video (However you only need to listen as its more of a slideshow video) as a great introduction to his farm. The basic premis is to use forest systems to maximize land use. He usees trees, bushes, vines, alley crops and livestock to output 7 times the harvest from 1 acre of land.
Steckle Heritage Farm, Wiffletree Farm, KW Habilitation, Two Crows Growery, Our Farm, and VELD architect are sponsoring a 2-day workshop – Transitioning to Farming Perennials
Farmer, engineer, ecologist and author Mark Shepard will be providing a 2 day, in the field open consultation in Waterloo in October 2014. Mark will explain how to transition from a purely annual production to a perennial system that integrates nut and fruit trees, fruiting bushes and vines, alley crops and pastured livestock.
Some key innovations that you will learn about are:
- forest agriculture
- permaculture agriculture
- STUN- sheer total utter neglect farming
- industrial scale, economically viable sustainable farming
- keyline plowing and design (with in field demonstration)
- fruit and nut tree basics
The Event consists of two parts:
- A two-day workshop held at Waterloo North Mennonite Church on October 3rd & 4th. $195
- A public seminar at Steckle Heritage farm on October 2nd in the evening. $10
For more information or to register please visit: www.shepardworkshop.eventbrite.com
VELD architect is proud to be a supporter of Our Farm for a number of years. They are hosting at their farm site in Waterloo. VELD architect specializes in agritourism and sustainable farm design.