Permaculture and Forest Farming

This morning, the latest incoming news about food forests contained two important leads. The first was a video about a project by Rafter Sass Ferguson and his research into examples of permaculture being used in the context of large scale farming.

Permaculture Farming

Global Permaculture Farming Map

It was great to see that his crowd-funding goal had been met, but what I enjoyed most was seeing how many places he had discovered that were applying permaculture design principles to farming.

Rafter found that when he went looking for US permaculture farms, he found them – over 150 so far, and the list is growing. This is an opportunity to systematically assess the actual and potential impact of the permaculture approach to farming.

Rafter writes extensively on

Forest Farming

The second was another (successful) crowd funding appeal, but this time from the co-authors of a new book on Forest Farming, about the practice of farming crops under the canopy of an established forest. Steve Gabriel and Ken Mudge are working on this book with the working title: “Farming The Woods”. This will be a volume of practical permaculture and agroforestry strategies, case studies, and a pattern language for people who want to practice this emerging form of agriculture. It will be published next summer by Chelsea Green Publishing.

You can read more on their website at

What is permaculture

In support of these articles came a third, this time by recently featured Toby Hemenway, who points to the paradigm shift that is underway. We are moving from “meeting human needs” to “meeting human needs while preserving ecosystem health”. This is a fundamental shift, which recognises regeneration as a necessary element of how we live – if we are to ‘leave’ the planet in a better state than it was in when we ‘arrived’.



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