MAY 31ST - JUNE 10TH 2017
10 DAY ADVANCED FARM AND HOMESTEAD DESIGN TRAINING
The training begins on Wed 31st May. Please arrive in the afternoon of Tue 30th and plan to depart after breakfast on Sat 10th June. Want to learn how to design, install and manage profitable farm scale permaculture systems? Join us for ten intensive days carefully crafted for those ready to learn with an internationally regarded expert and teacher in permaculture and regenerative agricultural design. Our design course trainings are renowned for the no-nonsense approach we take to pragmatic and effective systems design. We farm and design properties for a living from one of the northern most regenerative ag farms on the planet, so if you want to learn how to make it all work for yourself, you've come to the right place.
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We are offering an unparalleled opportunity to learn with a pioneering educator at what has quickly become a leading example of farm scale permaculture. Our trainings are second to none, and we invest a huge amount of thought and energy into creating the optimal learning experiences to participants from every corner of the globe. This design course is entirely focused on farm scale applications of regenerative design, giving you insight and hands-on learning into what it takes to build soil and make a farm thrive. This is a unique training created to address the lack of such opportunities in Europe.
KEY ELEMENTS TO THE TRAINING
Managing Holistically Defining your Context is the very basis of Managing Holistically. It is the very foundation in all our design work, as well as how we manage our farm and lives. Farm Scale Permaculture offers principles and attitudes for designing success, but we always integrate Holistic Management to deal with the complexity of making decisions regarding human relationships, ecology and economy.
Keyline Design The Scale of Permanence offers us an organisational framework for the design of larger landscapes, which we have used for many years in our work. The whole training program follows the same order of prioritisation with which we approach landscapes, to leave you with a coherent and intelligent approach to whole systems design. Topics include climate and biome considerations, landform and mapping, reading the landscape, understanding water in the landscape, water systems and management, trees and woody crops, access, infrastructure, integrated animal systems, soils and closed loop fertility management.
Tree and woody crops Agroforestry is a vital component in the future of broadacre land regeneration. By understanding the functions of woody systems in different parts of our landscapes we can clarify the agroforestry assemblies suited to our land base. Virtually every farm on the planet could benefit from more woody crops, and so we look at design considerations, planting and management strategies and all the additional yields woody ag offers.
Low Cost Infrastructure development With an aging farmer/ landowner population, most farmers cannot afford to get out of farming as their capital is locked up in assets. Consequently young people wanting access to land have a hard time getting in the game. Due to the educational aspect of our work, we specialise in low cost, scalable and modular enterprises that could run on rented land and small properties alike. We delve into the mobile and modular infrastructure, fencing and appropriate technologies, etc, that help make small farms work.
Integrated Animal systems Pasture based production is so vital to farms of the future, as there are no shorter chains of production than converting sunlight to flesh via grasses. Yet so little emphasis and understanding has been placed on grass physiology and ecology. Diving deep into this fascinating subject, we will also gain insight into Holistic Planned Grazing and monitoring your grassland using different survey techniques. We will also look at Pastured Egg Mobiles and Broilers, fantastic profitable small farm enterprises that play a very important role in rekindling tired pastures and that can easily be scaled up and down accordingly. Operating one of Europe’s lowest cost approved slaughter facilities from Ridgedale Permaculture, we will also look at on- farm slaughter, processing and nutrient cycling.
A No-Dig approach to Market Gardening After a very successful start up year growing vegetables in a No Dig system for a 50 share CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), we are doubling the Market Gardens. No-Dig represents the very best soil building approach to growing annual vegetables, and combined with BioIntensive spacings and good crop planning this makes for a fantastic small scale economically profitable enterprise. We use innovative approaches to composting, growing microbiology as well as harvesting and planning. We will get into the back end of the planning and design considerations that reduce the workload of this intensive enterprise.
Closed-loop fertility Soils are the basis of everything we are looking to create. For us, the basic premise of regenerative agriculture is that it must be soil building. There are many ways to capture carbon back into increasingly productive agricultures, which we cover as a theme in all the topics. We will also explore approaches to closing fertility loops on the farm as far as possible, including topics like making your own composts, bio-fertilisers, compost teas, biochar, growing microbiology, etc.
Regenerative Enterprise Ultimately it is effective decision making, diligent planning and monitoring that make it all work. In Farm Scale Permaculture we aim to observe and understand natural patterns to be able to design more effective and resilient systems. Economic considerations are no different. We can design enterprises that benefit all involved and marketinglocal food systems presents opportunities and leverage points that give us an upper edge. Selling what you produce is half the work and so we explore CSA’s, buying clubs, farm currencies and other innovative ways to reduce the work and risk whilst building community.
RICHARD PERKINS, CO-OWNER AND DIRECTOR @ RIDGEDALE
Richard is a leader in the field of farm scale Permaculture and Keyline design, working professionally in every major climate zone across several continents consulting to projects, farms and industry. Internationally regarded as one of Europe's leading designer-educators, he has led over 40 Permaculture Design Course trainings as well as dozens of other specialist courses, practicums and seminars, and has designed and conducted site visits on over 100 varied projects in more than a dozen countries. Richard is a certified teacher with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia (Certified Trainer No. 24) and the Permaculture Association of Great Britain. Having studied up to MSc level (IESD- Gaia U), leaving to establish an effective Design Consultancy and Education enterprise internationally. Richard also holds a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design (UK), HND Organic Crop Production (UK) and has studied extensively in the fields of Keyline Design, Holistic Management, Ecology and Anthropology.
I am currently reading Richard's book and have to say it is my favorite resource - the chapter on keyline design is one of the best explanations I've come across. Richard draws on a variety of disciplines and management approaches on top of his deep experience in design and application. This is a very thorough book, great for applied concepts and demonstrating a balance between a production farm and permaculture principles. It is worth every penny.