Over Grow The System has been dedicated to raising awareness around our food system, sustainability, and how to live a life that is more in tune with nature. We recognize that many aspects of our current systems in place around the globe are causing much of the environmental destruction and social issues that we currently face. There is no simple answer, but through OGTS, we seek to shed light on those out there who are talking up the call to create alternatives through urban and rural farming, permaculture, sustainability projects, green teck and much more. What we face is in no way a easy fight, but for the future of not just humans, but much of the life on the planet, it is quite possibly one of the most important.
October 2-5, 2014
Iowa City, IA 52240
Do you want to plan, install, and operate large-scale permaculture systems for maximum resiliency and economic stability? Ready to learn from international experts in tree crops, keyline design, and multi-species grazing?
We’re all in a unique place in history. Our motivations are clear: live an enjoyable life, earn a living from a sustainable and regenerative source, and build security while facing an uncertain future. The only reliable way to fulfill these goals, for ourselves and the greater world, is to scale-up permaculture. Farmscale Permaculture is the process of rolling out scalable systems that feed lots of people and rebuild ecosystems – changing how Earth looks from space.
Hosted at VersaLand, an emerging 145-acre regenerative savanna actively transforming a degraded monocultural landscape into an abundant agroecosystem. You can see it happening with your own eyes.
It’s possible, it’s being done, and it’s easier than you think.
The Von Thunen model of agricultural land use was created by farmer and amateur economist J.H. Von Thunen in 1826. Von Thunen’s model was created before industrialization and says that farmers have to take 3 things into account: the cost of land per year, the price of crops when sold, and the cost of transportation to market.
The first ring in the von thunen model produces dairy products, fruits, veggies, and flowers. Land costs in the first ring around the city are high, but so are sale prices for these products. All of these products spoil and require quick transport to market
Wood is grown in the second ring because it requires lots of land and the land must be cheaper. The forests are located in the second ring because back when Von Thunen wrote this model, Germany was heating primarily with wood.
Field crops like cereal grains are in the 3rd ring because they require vast amounts of land and are not nearly as expensive to transport as wood or fragile fruits and veggies. Also, farmers need land that they can afford to leave fallow for 1 out of every three years.
Ranching and livestock requires huge amounts of cheap land that doesn’t necessarily have to be good for anything except growing grass.
(For you permaculture people out there, check out this comparison between the Von Thunen model and the basic permaculture model. Second paragraph)
The orchard can be a magical place; endless acres of peaches, pears, or apples in gorgeous bloom by the roadside, producing delicious fruit. But an orchard, by definition, is a monocultural crop – nothing but one type of fruit tree that requires a lot of time, effort, money and pesticide to create produce for the billion dollar fruit industry. With organic orchards becoming more common but still very labor intensive, what are future fruit farmers to do? They completely rewrite the book on orchard management by using permaculture.
This is exactly what Stefan Sobkowiak does in Olivier Asselin’s new film, The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic. Sobkowiak owns and operates Les Fermes Miracle Farms, an orchard in Canada that he converted to a permaculturally-diverse organic orchard over the last twelve years. Asselin’s film condenses Sobkowiak’s decades of knowledge and experience into a seriously educational primer on how to propagate, grow, manage, and enrich one’s orchard. Clear instructions, animation, and demonstration make this film an important addition to your video learning library. To read more of this review by Examiner.com, click HERE—>
To purchase this video by DVD or download, click HERE
For those of you out there interested in permaculture and needing camaraderie in the young farmers growing perennials for a living realm, meet Grant Schultz of Versaland. He’s transforming a 145 acre corn and soybean farm in Iowa into a broad acre perennial farm, capturing grants from the USDA, implementing farm hack strategies (electric tractor), and offering workshops.
He was recently interviewed on the Permaculture Voices Podcast. Click to learn more about Grant and how he’s making it all happen.
Greenhorns ally Owen Hablutzel will be speaking at, or involved with, the following events:
- January 18-19, 2014 – Am Keynote Speaking at Nevada-County Sustainable Food and Farm Conference – come hear Wes Jackson, Dr. Elaine Ingham, myself and many others… topics: Drought-Resilience in the Twenty First Century and a second talk -Power and Potential of Holistic Planned Grazing
- March 13-16 – Dual Speaking engagements as part of Permaculture Voices Conference, Temecula, California (with Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, Michael Pollan, Geoff Lawton…)
- March 18-27 Permaculture Design Certificate Course, PRI Tipuana Farm, San Marcos, California
- April 26-27 Holistic Management: Ranch/Farm Grazing, Water, Animals and Soils, Reno, Nevada
by May Nguyen of Planting Justice
I’ve been working on behalf of Planting Justice with a project called the Indigenous Farming Project (IFP), a tribal agriculture & nutrition pilot program in collaboration with San Francisco artist collective Future Farmers. Inspired by his train travels through the reservation lands, EPA Region 9 director Jared Blumenfeld recognized a common desire for developing food sovereignty projects within native communities and asked Amy Francheschini of Future Farmers to start up a program that would help tribes gain access to the resources they need to build resilient foodsystems on their lands.
Many tribal reservations are geographically isolated and are “food deserts” in which there is very little or no access to healthy fresh foods, (www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/fooddesert.html). In order to combat this health related epidemic, there has been a resurgence in the number of American Indians and their allies championing a revitalization of traditional food knowledge and ritual farming-and-gardening.
In spring 2012, Anya Kamenskaya, the IFP project manager, started the first IFP-sponsored site with the Environmental Department of the Big Pine Paiute of the Owens Valley. Over the course of the year, as I joined on as a co-project manager and permaculture designer, we were able to work with Alan Bacock, Tony Karl & Sally Manning of the Environmental Department to design & plan an active demonstration community garden on the land of the Big Pine Paiute Tribal Headquarters.