Registration Open For Mark Shepard Permaculture Intensive

by Rachel on March 12, 2014

Spend a weekend learning from internationally recognized permaculture farmer Mark Shepard!

shepard w: chestnut

EarthDance is pleased to offer the opportunity to learn from celebrated permaculturist Mark Shepard, author of Restoration Agriculture, with both classroom and in-the-field instruction.  Shepard 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.

colorful aerial view New Forest Farm in Viola, WI

EarthDance gratefully acknowledges the help of our partners, the St. Louis University Dietetics Department and St. Stephens Episcopal Church for providing indoor venues to host Shepard’s presentations.

What: Introduction to Restoration Agriculture & Permaculture Water Management Focus.  Learn about:

  • Perennial crop establishment, maintenance, and breeding
  • Integrated multi-species grazing
  • Restoration Agriculture economics
  • Keyline design, earthworks, and water management

When: April 25-27, Friday evening-Sunday late morning

Where: The Friday evening presentation will take place at St. Louis University.   Saturday and Sunday portions of the course will take place at EarthDance Farm and nearby classroom space in Ferguson, MO (that’s about 15 minutes north of downtown St. Louis, for out-of-town registrants).

Cost: Sliding scale, dependent on sufficient full-price registration. Use the following guidelines to determine fair tuition:

  • $75 = you are in need of assistance (currently wait list only)
  • $150 = you are sustaining programs such as these
  • $225+ = you are helping others who would not normally be able to attend


Space is limited! Early registration is encouraged!

Shepard’s Friday evening talk at St. Louis University will introduce attendees to the practice of Restoration Agriculture, while the Saturday and Sunday portions of the intensive will focus on the keyline system for water management on farms. Saturday morning Mark will present on earthworks and earthshaping for water retention, to create drought-proof farms and manage storm water.  The rest of the workshop will take place at EarthDance Farm, learning how to adapt the system for your own landscape.  Shepard will guide participants in siting keylines, using an A-frame and laser level, and digging swales. Saturday evening will feature a homebrew tasting, bonfire, and socializing with Mark Shepard and EarthDance staff. Bring your own homebrew to share, and musical instruments are encouraged!  Registrants are welcome to camp at EarthDance free of charge.  Three meals are included in the price of registration, and registrants at the $225 level will receive a copy of Restoration Agriculture.

restoration ag

Participants will:

  • Learn how to assess their own site’s water management needs
  • Learn where to site keylines, swales and ponds
  • Gain hands-on practice using a laser level and an A-frame
  • Gain hands-on practice installing keylines and constructing swales
  • Have a blast learning from Shepard and enjoying Saturday’s homebrew social!

More about Mark Shepard:

Mark Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises and runs New Forest Farm.  The farm is entirely solar and wind powered and farm equipment is powered with locally produced biofuels that are not taken from the human food chain. Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest derived agricultural products for human foods and bio fuels production. Mark is founder and board President for Restoration Agriculture Institute and serves on the board of the Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council. He teaches agroforestry and Permaculture worldwide.





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