Around the globe most people get their calories from “annual” agriculture — plants that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Every single human society that has relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs — in your own backyard, farm or ranch. This book, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.
Praise for Restoration Agriculture
“This book, written from real experience of working with the land and referencing real results of experience over time, will be invaluable and is destined to be a permaculture classic. This will be a reference book of great value for anyone interested in using permaculture design in a farming operation and valued by future generations.”
Geoff Lawton, managing director, Permaculture Research Institute of Australia
“In Restoration Agriculture, Mark Shepard convincingly makes the case for notillage, perennial agriculture. He draws inspiration from J. Russell Smith, Bill Mollison, Masanobu Fukuoka, his father, his grandfather, his neighbors and others who showed him that trees are the key to productive and sustainable agricultural systems. Shepard shares his practical knowledge and hard-won wisdom gleaned from years of experience growing up on a farm in central Massachusetts and later transforming a barren overgrazed landscape in western Wisconsin into a richly productive polyculture. The discussions include rotational livestock management, beekeeping, soil and water management, plant breeding, turning a profit on a small farm, and many others. This book is well organized with lots of delightful and informative personal anecdotes.”
Larry Korn, translator of The One Straw Revolution and Sowing Seeds in the Desert and student of Masanobu Fukuoka
“What a great story and a fun read … a wonderful history of man’s intervention. It’s not just the ‘reasons’ we need to change land management, it’s the ‘model’ to follow … a call to action.”
Gary Zimmer, president, Midwestern Bio-Ag
Copyright 2013, softcover, 339 pages. 28 per case.
About the Author
Mark Shepard is a Wisconsin-based permaculture designer, agroforester and ecological farming consultant. He and his family have transformed a typical 140-acre row-crop dairy farm into a permaculture-based perennial-agricultural ecosystem using oak savannah, successional brushland and Eastern woodlands as ecological models. In all, they have planted 100,000 trees on this property. The result is one of the first and finest farm-scale models of permaculture in the United States. New Forest Farm features chestnut, hazelnut and fruit trees, a variety of other fruits and vegetables, chickens, ducks, pigs and other animals.
Virtual Event! Mark Teaches Water Management
Mark Shepard has joined the expert speaker lineup of the 2021 Healthy Soil Summit. This virtual event – taking place Aug. 25-26 – will teach you how to create a real ROI for your soil health management system. Our instructors are real farmers who practice what they teach, including detailed tactics to build soil resilience, increase water storage capacity and decrease costly inputs and programs. Learn more about it here!
Sample video about Restoration Agriculture
Everyone should read this
This book was life changing for me and I think everyone should read it, not just gardeners and farmers. It’s relevant for anyone who eats food.
Only applicable in certain areas
I love the idea behind this, but his approach is only good in the eastern US or the PNW where there is adequate rain. In dry desert SW arid climates, there is no application that can be made from this book unless you have access to lot of water to grow the forest he recommends, and even then I doubt such irrigation is all that sustainable.
Fantastic work with wonderful historical reviews and packed full of research driven guidance. This read was finished off with an amazing call to action. I’d like to send a personal thank you letter to the author. As a way to show my appreciation I purchased several copies for gifts and can’t stop raving about this book.
A must have
Life changing. Infinite wisdom held within. Cornerstone of any library