Development of Outdoor Agricultural Classroom in San Juan County NM: Growing Forward Farm Project
Presented by Bonnie Hopkins Byers
April 12, 2023 at 10am Mountain
The ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture Program, also known as the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, is a project run by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and funded by a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. Through the ATTRA program, NCAT’s team of Sustainable Agriculture Specialists provide farmers and ranchers with free one-on-one technical assistance, training, educational resources to support regenerative land stewardship in both English and Spanish. The ATTRA program utilizes a team of over 30 trained specialists - all with a different area of expertise - who ad.re available to assist any farmer or rancher who reaches out. Nine of ATTRA’s 30 specialists are experienced in agroforestry and can be called upon to teach producers how to better design, implement, and manage agroforestry systems in their regions. Additionally, ATTRA has a library of hundreds of technical publications, tip sheets, podcasts, and videos on topics such as agroforestry, transitioning to organic production, business management, cover cropping, conservation, and more. ATTRA is always expanding their array of resources, and their most recent offering is a Climate Smart Agriculture Toolkit, which provides straightforward and simple resources to demystify the world of carbon sequestration and carbon markets.
Food forests are an agroforestry practice that provides benefits well beyond food production. For example, they are a type of multistrata agroforestry, which is ranked #28 on Project Drawdown’s list of the 100 top climate solutions. Beginning in January 2020 a small team began planning a new food forest to be established at Arcosanti, a 52-year-old experimental town located in the high desert, approximately 70 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona. Arcosanti is an ambitious project envisioned as an experiment in living frugally and with a limited environmental footprint. The food forest project is part of a larger program to revitalize both agriculture and education at Arcosanti. Beginning in the summer of 2020 work parties began preparing a 0.67-acre site, which consisted of a vacant, weedy field and a small stand of paulownia trees. Site preparation has followed a design that includes a network of shallow basins and meandering paths.
Daniel Halsey designs and consults for developing ecologically supported homestead systems, ecosystem restoration, and intentional communities. Bringing site-specific solutions based on local resources, site conditions, and improved cultural practices. Most of his designs are farms, homesteads, watershed, and village systems supplying perennial harvests to support the community. Always raising the carrying capacity of the land.
COUNTRIES Global Designer: Senegal, Liberia, Nepal, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Costa Rica, Canada, South Africa, Haiti, Scotland, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States.
CREDENTIALS: Co-Founder of United Designers International and Foundation (Uniteddesigners.org); Board Director of PRI/USA; Owner/Director of the Natural Capital Plant Database Consultant, Designer, and Educator (USAID); and Masters of Professional Studies, Horticulture (UMN)
Dr. Dennis Garrity is a systems agronomist and research leader whose career has focused on improving small-scale farming systems in the tropics. He has been serving as Drylands Ambassador for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, emphasizing the role of agroforestry, evergreen agriculture and landcare for sustainable land management. From 2001 to 2011, he served as Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre. He is currently Chair of the Board of the Global EverGreening Alliance, a partnership of nearly all of the major development and conservation organizations around the world, working together to restore hundreds of millions of hectares of degraded land and enhance the livelihoods of millions of the least-favored smallholder farm families in the tropics. He also chairs Landcare International, a worldwide effort to support grassroots community-based natural resource management.
Gus von Roenn, Founder and Executive Director and Graham Herbst, Board of Directors Vice President with Omaha Permaculture will share the mission fostering community through sustainable land stewardship, and the first-ever Claire M. Hubbard Foundation-funded OP Field Manual Almanac – a guide for best practices in urban permaculture. Their presentation will be followed by Lindsey Hethcote, Director of Education at Tres Estrellas Organic Farm and Garden, at the Tres Estrallas, Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico. Lindsey will share how the permaculture-inspired farm elegantly incorporates organic biointensive fruit and vegetable production, agroforestry, agrobiodiversity conservation and animal husbandry to create an idyllic example of ecological agriculture.
Few agroforestry systems have ever been intentionally designed to address environmental health, human health, and community (economic) well-being at the same time. Single miracle crops will not work as silver bullets. In light of the severe challenges facing the Southwest US and Northwest Mexico with respect to severe drought, heat waves, water scarcity and salinity, we as a multicultural society are in desperate need of climate-friendly perennial polycultures than can address all three issues. In this program, Gary Paul Nabhan will: 1) discuss the challenges facing this binational arid region; 2) quickly move to systems design that takes into account these three criteria; 3) discuss candidate agroforestry genera and species that meet these criteria; and then 4) discuss rules for assembling them into desert adapted polycultures. Three pilot projects in Arizona and Sonora will be highlighted.
Jerome Osentowski, director and founder of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI), farms at 7,200 feet on a steep, rocky hillside in Colorado, incorporating deep, holistic permaculture design with practical common sense. The edible landscape nursery at CRMPI produces hardy fruit trees, fruit shrubs, grapevines, nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs, and perennial edible, medicinal, and insectary herbaceous plants for landscapes, gardens, farms, and orchards in the Rockies and beyond (https://crmpi.org/). Join us for an insightful educational experience with Jerome Osentowski and learn about indoor and outdoor forest gardens and the opportunities for exploration and growth within your edible landscape.
Mesquite is a valuable multi-purpose tree crop well suited for agroforestry in the American Southwest. The pods are edible and useful for fodder. Mesquite was a critical food for native people. The flowers are favored by bees. The hardwood is suitable for many purposes and makes excellent charcoal. Mesquite is a self-fertilizing tree and fixation rates can be high, associated with very deep roots. Roots have been found 46 m deep - a good case for carbon sequestration. Trees are long-lived and can grow to considerable size. Growth can be rapid with water availability. Mesquite can survive remarkable levels of drought stress and resume growing when it rains. Mesquite trees are also tolerant of fire and resprout readily in agroforestry settings.
Native American traditional methods of utilizing perennial plants for food and general use continue to be practiced in modern society. Modern research into the origins of these uses have provided insight into how these may provide expanded benefits to society at large. This presentation will serve as an introduction to traditional uses of the Southwest peach and Pinyon as well as ongoing Utah research into how these could be managed as alternative agroforestry crops in a broader context in the Southwest.
Edible trees—those native and nonnative trees that produce fruits, nuts, seeds and pods that suit human tastes—benefit the environment and increase food security. This presentation addresses edible tree characteristics, microclimate preferences, planting strategies, watering with non-potable supplies, tree maintenance and harvesting strategies.
Carol Manetta presents
A friendly and simple explanation to share with others.