Restoration Agriculture: Field Notes on Perennial Plantings

Continuing the conversation begun at last year's conference where Mark Shepard provided a keynote and sessions on Restoration Agriculture and Shannon Brines led a session on keyline planning and plowing, this presentation will provide an update on Brines Farm's evolving understanding and integration of restoration agriculture techniques including notes from the field on multiple years of perennial plantings. Brines Farm expanded to 80 acres of historical farmland in 2012. Previous use of the land had abused the soil and sped water off site. We began trying keyline techniques to aerate the soil and to keep water on site, and we began to plant perennials. With four spring (and multiple autumn) seasons of plantings done, we can share field notes from our site on our experiences and the performance of a wide variety of plants, vines, brambles, shrubs, and trees that were planted in a restoration agriculture style using multiple methods.

Subject Matter Level: 
Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Shannon J. Brines
Brines Farm LLC
Shannon began growing vegetables and fruits as a child and established Brines Farm in 2004 due to his passion for slow food and sustainable agriculture. He began selling year-round at farmers markets and offered one of Michigan’s first fresh produce winter CSA share programs. Shannon was selected as a member of the US delegation to participate in Terra Madre 2008 in Turin, Italy, a world slow food meeting focused on increasing small-scale, traditional and sustainable food production. Shannon is an applied geographer at the University of Michigan interested in land use, agriculture, food systems, public health and sustainable design. Shannon currently serves on the Slow Food Huron Valley Board, Local Food Summit Steering Committee, Greenbelt Advisory Commission and the student-initiated University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program Advisory Board. Shannon and his wife, Erin Mittendorf, live on (and steward!) 80 acres of farmland in northern Washtenaw County.