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Publisher's Summary

Restoration Agriculture reveals how to sustainably grow perennial food crops that can feed us in our resource-compromised future.  

The restoration agriculture system described in this award-winning book works! It is possible for humans to produce staple foods using perennial agricultural ecosystems that actually improve the quality of the environment. This can be done on a backyard, farm, or ranch scale and is needed right now - on a global scale.  

Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel, and many other needs. Using the restoration agriculture system, an oak savanna mimic will produce more than twice the number of edible human calories per acre as an average acre of corn, never needs to be planted again, prevents erosion, creates oil, and can be managed with no fossil fuel inputs. This book, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.

©2013 Mark Shepard (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Restoration Agriculture

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Did not enjoy being lectured on global warming.

it was hard to finish. I love the ideas of putting trees in the ground and making things better in my small part of the world. I did not enjoy being lectured on how terrible we as a scocity are. stop lecturing just need the information to make my part of the world productive.

29 people found this helpful

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identifying problems but misidentifying causes

the author gets so close to the heart of the problem but just misses the target. much the same for a few of his solutions.

he identifies financial profit as being necessary to success but also seems to blame the greedy profit driven corporations to be responsible for the problems in big agro. but as he also seems to realize, it isn't the profit incentives, it's the subsidies. a corporation is harmless without government support. markets will destroy any corporation that isn't 'restorative' unless a government is there to prop them up and bail them out.

government is the enemy of sustainability and the future of restoration agriculture.

and those who wish to thrive in restorative ways must be so efficient as to out compete big agro even with their various hand outs and monopoly generating regulations. the solution is not to convince governments to embrace permaculture, this will only destroy it just as makes the author's bees and trees etc weak to spray them with chemicals and various inputs. to save agriculture and the world government and it's cronies must be out competed, defeated and otherwise made obsolete.

14 people found this helpful

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brilliant eye opening perspective on agriculture!

anyone worried about agriculture practices and the environmental degradation that follows will be captivated by this book. Mark Shepard is permaculture farming on an industrial scale, his perspective on how to farm is truly unique. I have struggled coddling fruit trees but I am adopting the STUN method of planting and will definitely view and approach things differently after learning from this book.

12 people found this helpful

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Worth it!

Very interesting, informative, and inspiring. Everyone should read about the benefits of permaculture and food forestry. Also, if you have Netflix, a good companion might be the documentary Kiss the Ground, as it gives a good bit of visual aid to this story as well as expounding on some central ideas.

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent "why" book, and good clear "how" as well

I recently made the decision to restore my small farm to forest, regardless of whether it made money. The forest needed to return. My husband was wafflingly supportive. Then I found this book, and was able to envision a way to have a forest that was profitable. This book is excellent for folks with farmland who want to find a better way. (It is probably great for other folks too... I can only vouch for me as a farmland owner.)
As a former commercial beekeeper, I can tell you that he is only sort of accurate about bees and beekeeping, but I have talked to beekeepers who are more inaccurate. It's hard to get bees right.
Also as a former commercial beekeeper, I was thrilled to hear Shepard speak honestly about the near impossibility of earning 100% of one's income from the farm. You should plan to be profitable, but you'll probably need a side hustle. Every aspiring farmer needs to hear that, as well as every struggling farmer. My husband is feeling much better about restoring our forest, now that he understands how that restoration can provide some profit. When I found a patch of wild hazelnuts on the property and explained how Shepard grows hazelnuts, he even got excited. Him: "And whatever else happens, we'll never starve!" This book is not a blueprint, it's a vision. Catch the vision and translate it onto your own property in your own style with your own resources and priorities. You'll never starve.

7 people found this helpful

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Details on how to begin not entailed

I was interested in the book to learn and apply restoration agriculture. This book provides very little detail on how to begin, what it is.

7 people found this helpful

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very real a must read book

once i finish listening to this book i just realized how cruel we really are as a resident of earth. and this book tells me how monocrop system in agriculture had a big impact in our ecosysytem and in our health as a human being..such a great book

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent Exposé On Perennial Agriculture

I have treasured the value and power of perennials on our farm for a long time. However I have not taken the time to consider seriously how that might be expanded across our entire operation. This book provided that opportunity and important elements for implementation.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic resource

Inspirational, informative and just enough for basic to commercial.

Way to not sell anything; instead this resource asks the reader to question everything and not be satisfied with the current facade.

My next step is to write the author and personally thank him and his mentors for this wonderful book!

Thank you Mark Shepard and influencing team members!

3 people found this helpful

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Magnificent

This book is packed full of wisdom and information. I will be listening to it again soon.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robin Bradford
  • 09-08-20

Muddled and not clearly expressed.

I had high hopes for this book... unfortunately it zig-zaged across themes of conversation in a muddled fashion lacking any direction and sensible continuity. The book's content applies only to one part of the USA so much if it has no relevance to Europe, Asia or South America. It is in fact somewhat parochial and colloquial and I am afraid, being European was struggling to gain much information from it.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-24-20

Read many books on the subject, but I still learnt

great book no issue finishing and a must read if you're interest in the subject matter.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steven Bamber
  • 01-31-20

Totally inspiring!!

This book has completely blown my mind and the obvious brilliance of it all is truly inspiring. Of course why hasn't any thought to simply copy what nature has been doing right all this time. Superb!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • David A.
  • 02-21-21

All need to hear this !

this is for everyone who relies on food, water and the earth to live. and especially those who care enough to do something to protect the future.

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  • helen
  • 08-19-20

Great and informative

A bit heavy, listening to this for more than a few hours at a time but it's a good book and read well.

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  • coz
  • 05-11-20

inspiring

A call to action. A combination of the pragmatic approach to restoration agriculture and the underlying ethos. it is an eye opening view on how so many of the world's currently problems could be addressed. It was an engrossing listen.

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  • X
  • 08-03-21

Boring, irrelevant and impractical

I struggled to finish, not much practical information. It's more for hobby farms not for profitable farming enterprises. The amount of times he says I'll talk about this in later chapters is astounding. He goes on and on pointing out problems with the conventional systems and not really offering any alternatives. The author wants the reader to grow chestnuts, acorns and hazelnuts. He writes off corn entirely because it has no vitamin c, yet goes on to say farmers should grow fruit and vegetables. The entire book seems to point out the obvious. Nose ringing pigs is not only unnecessary if you rotate them often but they can rip rings out. The book is of zero value if you want a profitable direct marketing farming enterprise. At one point he says elephants are an option and yet can't keep goats fenced in. I would not recommend this to anyone.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-29-20

Practical and Simple

loved this book, very practical and easy to understand. very inspiring and the narrator is excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chris O'Hara
  • 12-23-19

Amazing book

Well narrated
very knowledgeable and full of information about Permaculture and better agricultural production

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barry
  • 02-19-22

very informative

A great system for the world moving forward. Detailed information backed up with common sense.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-01-21

Intriguing and hopefully

Amazing listen filled with great information and tips on how to get started. Can't wait to start my own journey.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-21

Fantastic!

Very informative and based on science and logic. A must read for everyone. A a