I've not heard of Mark Shepard before, but now I'm glad I have. Because he's the first person I've seen address permaculture on a large scale, to feed civilisation. Joel Salatin does a great job of talking about the responsibility of taking care of the environment we grow our food in, but Mark Shepard talks about the destructive nature of annual crops and seeks to address it through perennial farms.
It's very educational. If you eat food, you should watch this.
If you also want to learn more about some of the details of setting up a perennial farm, there's another video utilising alley cropping, on Mark's, New Forest Farm. It's made by the University of Wisconsin, in their series on agroforestry.
Also, in this agroforestry series, is a video on Silvopasture, which is the running of animals, in the perennial system. The difference between Joel Salin's model and Mark's is, Joel is mimicking the prairie system, while Mark brings the animals into the forest.
Watching these video's has helped me understand how farmers can change the way they grow food. It's also helped me understand, how we can manage our own vegetation better. While I won't be doing it on the scale of a farm, I can scale to size, on our five acres.
Which leads me to the last video I'd like to share. It's made by the University of Guam (not to do with Mark Shepard) and deals specifically with windbreaks, hedgerows and alley cropping.
All this information has helped me see how we can make adjustments in our landscape, with a more permanent vision in mind. I hope you enjoy watching all these videos.
If you only watch one, however, make sure it's the first one. As it's the first time I've seen the way we feed our civilisation via annual crops, as destructive. Not because of all the usual suspects, such as chemicals and fossil fuels (although that is part of it) mainly because annual crops, by "nature", require destruction, in order to eat them.
Annual crops were never meant to be our staple diet. They were only meant to be complimentary to a broader system, that is permanent by nature.