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Restoration Agriculture Real World Permaculture for Farmers by Mark Shepard


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Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers

By Mark Shepard


Restoration Agriculture reveals how to sustainably grow perennial food crops that can feed us in our resource-compromised future. How our food is produced is too often overlooked in the quest to get it into our mouths. Around the globe most people get their calories from “annual” agriculture. The majority of carbohydrates, proteins and oils that feed humanity are from annual plants; those that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Rice, wheat and corn are all seeds from annual plants. But human cultures have only relied upon annual plant seeds as staple food crops for 10,000 years. In addition to requiring ceaseless labour, annual plants have carried with them another curse. Every single human society that has relied on annual crops as staple foods in their diet has collapsed.

The restoration agricultural ecosystems in described in this book, the author says, works! It is possible for humans to produce staple foods using perennial agricultural ecosystems that actually improve the quality of the environment. This can be done on a backyard, farm or ranch scale and is needed right now – on a global scale.

Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in from and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs. Using the restoration agricultural system, an oak savanna mimic will produce more than twice the number of edible human calories per acre as an average acre of corn, never needs to be planted again, prevents erosion, creates soil, and can be managed with no fossil fuel inputs. This book, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future. 


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • The Perennial Agriculture Vision
  • Our Present Reality
  • Standing on the Backs of Giants
  • Challenges Facing Agriculture
  • Turning things around
  • Farming in Nature’s Image
  • The Steps Towards Restoration Agriculture
  • Other Biomes
  • Livestock & Restoration Agriculture
  • Including Bees
  • About Nutrition
  • Nutrition & Perennial Agriculture
  • Getting Started
  • The Transitional Strategy
  • Managing a Healthy Farm Ecosystem
  • Plant & Animal Breeding
  • Photo tour of New Forest Farm
  • Making a Profit
  • Creating Permanent Agriculture: A Call for new pioneers

“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

Softcover, 329p
ISBN: 9781601730350

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