We're really excited to be holding a Whole Farm Fertility Workshop in Wilsall, MT this June 5-9th.
The course has 2 modules: Holistic Grazing Planning and Keyline Design, and you can sign up for one or both. Teachers will be Owen Hablutzel, Roland Kroos, and Neil Bertrando.
There will be both classroom and hands-on learning activities, including a pasture walk, contour surveying, and a Keyline pattern cultivation demo.
A quote from Michael Forney who participated in our Keyline Design class last year in Boring, OR.
" I guarantee this will change the way you look at your land. Where I am at, water rights are impossible to get.
The course material makes it possible to build topsoil, correct soil nutrition and pH imbalances and make
the most of the water you get by putting it where you want it and storing it in the cheapest way...in the soil.
It was worth my time and money even before we plowed." - Michael Forney, workshop participant
The Montana Whole Farm Fertility Workshop is drawing nearer! We're very excited to be hosting such high quality instructors!
I was a student under Owen Hablutzel and Neil Bertrando last August in Oregon when they taught Keyline Design in great detail, and it was a fantastic course.
I was so thankful for the opportunity to finally learn the nuts and bolts of Keyline design last year from these guys. It made large scale land planning logical and digestible, and I was very happy to gain cheap and accessible contour mapping skills, which is the basis for everything related to water harvest. For farmers, ranchers, land designers and consultants, this information is priceless.
We've got a Yeomans Keyline Plow headed over from Australia for the course, and to begin plowing our land, and that of neighbors, and it will be available to lease over the coming years to folks in our region.
My 20 acrepermaculture farm is located in a really cold, arid part of Montana, and farming and ranching on the land in excess of its capacity is prevalent all around my valley, and much of this state. We've been in a serious pattern of extreme temps and drought for over a year, wildfires were stoked last year, and crop yields were dismal. Using Holistic Management grazing and planning principles and combining it with Keyline Design to catch water, plant trees, and herd livestock to build fertility, yields and resilient farm businesses holds more promise to change our difficult circumstances on a large scale than anything else on the table.
I'm trying to build a community of Holistic Management/Keyline practitioners around Montana to spread and develop these technologies. I think sharing knowledge and experiences is crucial to the adoption of this nature-mimicking work, and hope you'll join us!
Cloud Nine Farm
Farmer at Cloud Nine Farm, located at 5300' elevation, on Sagebrush Steppe, northeast of Bridger Mountains in the Shields Valley of Montana. We do market gardens, four season growing, build earthworks, plant food forests, raise livestock and poultry, grow and sell plants and seeds, host WWOOFers, and more. Find our farm on facebook!
Location: Reno, NV
posted 7 years ago
Here's a great new article by one of our teaching team, Owen Hablutzel on Permaculture News / PRI Australia
I just saw this article which calls into question Savorys holistic management and wanted to get your feedback. I have some friends who are usgs scientists and want more scientific data supporting the method.
It is an impressive list of papers. However the crux of the situation I believe is whether you want to prove the ideas of HM are successful or unsuccessful. I know the authors of some of the papers listed on the Slate article and it was their full intent to show how Holistic Management would fail and they proved it. We hope scientist's are unbiased however that is not always true.
The concepts and principles of Holistic Management are difficult to research because the core belief is that everything is interconnected in some way. The core way people accomplish research is that we try to isolate and control all but one or two variables. When we control things, they are no longer holistic. Also at the core of the Holistic Management process is what we call the FEEDBACK LOOP. We expect things to go awry, and when they do we teach people how to adjust their plans immediately. Most research projects do not allow for mid-stream adjustments, because making constant adjustments would make the research project invalid.
The scientific community continues to struggle with the concepts of Holistic Management. I have been involved with Holistic Management since 1984, and I can say that I have witnessed some phenomenal changes on many ranches practicing Holistic Management. These changes have resulted in ranchers greatly improving the triple bottom-line: improvement in ecological health, profitability, and Quality of Life. I don't need a scientific paper to prove to me that it works and if you would like to talk with some of these practitioner please let me know. I believe we have all seen and read published research articles, however these ideas don't work when we try to apply the concepts to real life.
I have spent my whole life working in agriculture and have witnessed how proven studies have tainted our groundwater, killed unintended species, or greatly altered the way agriculture functions. If the scientific method is so successful, why do we continue to have so many problems on this great earth of ours? Here is a quote that I use when I'm teaching how Holistic Management is different.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them” by Albert Einstein.
Roland R.H. Kroos
Crossroads Ranch Consulting Inc
One of the best responses to this question that I’ve seen over the years, Roland, Wow!
Have also been somewhat following the various blogosphere reactions to the Savory talk… and some good discussions out there, all important to have as folks wrap their heads around this stuff, but my sense has been that a significant portion of the negative reaction pieces are stemming somewhat from a general ‘anti-meat/beef’ agenda and perspective… more examples of prior beliefs leading to conclusions (which nobody of course is immune from – a dynamic that has been well demonstrated by the work of Nobel prize winner, Daniel Kahneman,etc)…
Also have attached a few more papers and an essay on the science of HM topic… enjoy! And, can’t find the numbers at the moment, but a review of ranches winning sustainability, etc awards this century turns up a large representation of ranches and managers applying the Holistic Management approach, for what that may be worth.
Hope this adds positively to the discussion, and hope to see some of the inquiring folks at the workshop where we can all dialogue further!
Allison Rooney from Cloud Nine Farm and I (Broken Ground) are really excited to be hosting this great workshop in Montana in a little less than a month. Today is the last day for the early bird discount so sign-up soon! Bringing innovative and successful water harvesting techniques and holistic management practices to Montana is such an important practice for long-term sustainability. Go to Montana Whole Farm Fertility for more info.
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