Marshall Forest Farming Hands-On Intensive
June 9 and 10, 2012
With Zev Friedman, Living Systems Design
In partnership with the Town of Marshall and the GIST program at AB-Tech Enka, this third in a series of affordable 2-day forest agriculture workshops offered in rural counties around WNC (previously Rutherford and Jackson) will provide participants with a wealth of background information and resources on practical forest cropping techniques, as well as hands-on experience with installation of a demonstration forest garden on the grounds of the Marshall Library. The class is appropriate for those wanting to grow forest crops for their own use and for those interested in beginning small forest farming enterprises. We’ll also share networking opportunities for those who don’t own their own land to potentially gain access to land.
A half-day classroom portion of the class will provide a comprehensive overview of the most promising plant, fungal and animal crops to grow in forest systems; an introduction to ecological design principles for deciding which crops to grow together on a given piece of land; techniques for managing forest farms over time for multiple yields from foods, medicines and fiber to building and craft materials, charcoal and even electricity; and, an exploration of different “guilds”, or groups of companion crops, to work with in different situations. The classroom portion will also include information on potential business models and marketing strategies for those looking to begin small forest farming enterprises.
The remaining 1.5 days of the class will be devoted to hands-on work, mostly the installation of a demonstration forest garden on the grounds of the Marshall Library. We’ll review the Master Plan for the demonstration forest garden, helping participants to understand why we made design choices so they can apply the same thinking to their own projects. Then we’ll get to work using various techniques to install the first phase of the forest garden so it will be successful, including inter-planting strategies for improved soil nutrition and pest and disease mitigation, as well as strategies for reducing weed pressure and increasing drought resilience. The hands-on work will also be infused with learning opportunities around the nuances of various techniques.
The class will be a fun and energizing immersion in new ideas and practical techniques to help you become a pioneering forest farmer in this region. Come on out and join us!
Registration for the class is $75. Please bring your own lunch. To register, please contact Haven Hanford from the GIST program at AB-Tech Enka, hhanford at abtech.edu
Although we have done our best to make the class very affordable, there are also limited work-trade opportunities for those who need that option. Please email Jennifer Flynn, marshallncstep at gmail.com, if you’re interested in work-trade for this class.