Kate, one of our awesome pioneering farm managers, has been conducting various research as we develop this farm project; both to help us make more informed management decisions in our grazing plan as well as allow us to demonstrate what impact our actions have on the land over time. So much in the Permaculture world seems based on circumstantial evidence; and in response we aim to design, implement, monitor and refine what we do based on measurable and replicable methods. Moving to a new land requires endless observation, recording, researching & monitoring the impact of our actions, so here's a glimpse into how we have begun doing that here at the farm. We have around 40 species in our very varied pasture, with large variances in soil. Whilst the research conducted so far is just the beginning, it has been incredibly beneficial in terms of really getting a good sense of what we are actually working with. Bravo Kate, we are so happy to have had you with us here for this incredible first season. It feels so important more folks in the alternative agriculture/ permaculture world start producing useful data for the benefit of all, thank you so much for the integrity & diligence you contribute.
Here's a little fly-by over the farm center today. Incredible to reflect on the last 4 months where we have been joined by awesome people from all corners of the globe getting deep into education and action during this unique time establishing all systems from scratch. Empowering other's to manage their lives holistically and design solutions to bring their dreams forth is a major part of the Holistic Context we manage towards, and something we are excited to be able to share with so many bright, intelligent & gifted folks. It's been an epic ride so far!
With just 3 weeks left of Internship #2 and our final PDC of the season around the corner we are surely looking forward to a restful winter to recuperate and plan for next season; with more animals, new trainings and new people bringing knowledge, skills and passion to everything that happens here at Ridgedale. We will be posting more about the opportunities for Core Team roles for 2015 (sign up to the Newsletter here) with more spaces for a bigger team to make next year even more incredible. Stay posted, we'll be reviewing the year and blogging a lot more over the winter to inform & support others who wish to undertake a similar journey.
It's Day 2 of our certified Holistic Management training, dipping into the 2nd half of our awesome 10 Week Internship program. The Savory Institute has been updating, clarifying and simplifying their workbooks as smaller & more concise workbooks, available cheaply via their website. We have been running through Financial Planning and Grazing Planning today, using the farm as a model for planning for the factors, observations and circumstances we have in our situation, to ensure we create the best possible plan to move consistently towards our Holistic Context.
We see managing holistically is key to forwarding effective regenerative enterprises and regenerating degraded landscapes whilst creating resilient & socially just incomes into the future. We plan to write some series of articles to clarify some of the common misconceptions and explain the process to support others to start managing holistically. Stay tuned for details.
We have another 10 Week Internship running at the farm July- Sept, with a few spots open, where once again we will be training up a diverse and engaging group in the following areas;
The 10 Week internship includes over 530hrs of curriculum based learning & 5 Certificate Courses;
Perennial Cropping: Silvopasture meets Forest Gardening meets Keyline Design ( soon to meet Holistic Management!)
This article documents the major patterning of the farm at Ridgedale PERMACULTURE as we laid the Keyline tree lanes and planted thousands of long term perennial crops within our pasture lanes. For a better introduction to the farm's context you can read an article here. Water systems and Keyline patterning is also addressed here. The original plan for the tree layers of the farm design is outlined in another article available here. So now we explain & assess the actual implementation. For context, at the time of this work we ourselves had only been on site for 6 weeks and the planning, layout, machine work and major planting all took place in Week 1 and 2 of our 10 Week Internship. (We have another 10 Week Internship program running July- Sept)
Ben Falk's book is a must for cold climate Permaculture designers, homesteader's and anyone keen to learn from insightful and experienced holistic decision making. We thoroughly enjoyed the read, and most importantly from our perspective; it's a work based on raw experience, dedication and enthusiasm. Permaculture design is learnt by doing; we need more practitioners out on the ground working professionally & implementing resilient and effective solutions restoring ecosystems, connecting people to bring about robust local economies & exchange systems and meeting our human needs holistically. This book supports those objectives, written in a refreshing tone that sets aside theory from observed practice. Ben has a diverse and deep design experience, and we are very excited to have him join us this spring for the first PDC at the farm as a guest lecturer via conference call.
This is the third of a series of articles looking at design considerations for our Cold Climate Permaculture site using the Keyline Scale of Permanence as a organizing framework, as well as an informative read for anyone interested.
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