Restoration Agriculture Foundations - (Master Course) Practical Permaculture and Agroforestry for Farmers

Mark Shepard


Mark Shepard has converted a worn-out corn farm into a permaculture showcase featuring stacked enterprises, diverse perennial crops, several species of livestock, and more. Learn the core principles and techniques of Restoration Agriculture.

Learn how to pivot your farm into a diversified, resilient polyculture with tree crops, livestock, fruits and vegetables, and more, from restoration agriculture specialist Mark Shepard. Students should be able to complete this course in 12 to 16 hours, can start and end lessons on your own schedule, and will have access to course materials for years to come.

Self-paced. No expiration date.

Change Your Farming Practices

Through this course you will gain new insight into radically transitioning your farm away from the commodity-crop treadmill.

Integrated Polyculture

Learn how to revision your farm into a diversified, resilient polyculture with tree crops, livestock, fruits and vegetables, and more.


Understand the core principles of permaculture design; you will be better able to choose crops and methods of diversification most suited to your farm, your climate, and your interests and abilities.

Permaculture Meets Agroforestry . . .

Learn how to apply the principles of permaculture and the techniques of agroforestry to a specific property to design an integrated system producing food, fuel, fiber, medicines and wildlife habitat.

You will learn . . .

Specific tools and techniques which will be discussed include:

  • Windbreaks

  • Alley cropping

  • Silvopasture

  • Polyculture and permaculture

  • Multi-story forest cropping

  • Erosion best management practices

  • Integrated specialty crops


Mark Shepard is a permaculture designer, agroforester and ecological farming consultant and is the author Restoration AgricultureWater for Any Farm and Water For Any Farm: Engineering Field Manual. He and his family have transformed a typical 100-acre row-crop dairy farm into a permaculture-based perennial-agricultural ecosystem using oak savannah, successional-brushland and Eastern woodlands as the ecological models. The result is one of the first and finest farm-scale models of permaculture in the United States. Their farm features chestnut, hazelnut and fruit trees, a variety of other fruits and vegetables, and chickens, ducks, pigs and other animals. He has lectured worldwide and consults with growers around the world including teaching permaculture techniques in sub-Saharan Africa. Upper Midwest organic farmers will recognize him as the banjo player in the band Synister Dane. 



Free Podcast

My Farmer, My Customer

New! Learn from Marty Travis's experiences converting the Spence Farm into one of the most successful farming co-ops in the United States today.