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FARM Center Presents: An Immersion in Regeneration Agroforestry & Integrated Design

Upcoming session:

Winter 2019: January 21 - March 4

  • Come study tropical agroforestry on the Big Island of Hawaii!
  • Learn how to work with natural systems to generate abundant food forests.
  • Learn how to stabilize climate through agroforestry.

Apply Now!

Photos: Neil Logan & Sophia Bowart

Immersion includes:

  • Personalized training in both concepts and practice.
  • Lots of hands-on experience in the field.
  • Full days of learning and interacting with like-minded people.

FARM Center invites you to participate in our 6-week long immersive program offering Regenerative Agroforestry theory and design on a Multistory Agroforestry demonstration site in North Kohala, Hawaii. We welcome students who want to learn how to design, plant and manage successional regenerative food forest that recycle nutrients within.

This program is a blend of theory and practice designed to instill the experience and confidence in order to successfully design and install your own regenerative agroforest.

This is a rare opportunity to live and learn on a mature 10 year old site, with experienced practitioners and teachers of regeneration agroforestry systems.

This 6 week immersion will prepare individuals to design, install and manage low-input landscape food forests systems that will nourish them for decades.

Photos: Neil Logan

Details:

Participants in the Regeneration Agroforestry and Integrated Design Immersion, will be guests at a not-for-profit family farm centered around research, development and education.

We are looking for self-motivated, physically active, hard working, individuals with a strong desire to serve others and learn about their surrounding environment. Ideally a participant will have some foundational background in some or all of the following: botany, biology, horticulture, agronomy, chemistry, ecology, basic fitness and/or non-violent communication skills.

Neil and Sophia harvesting Taro/Kalo, photo by Craig Elevitch, 2018

We ask that participants arrive ready to work hard, learn much, focus on agroforestry and ecosystem regeneration.

Students will receive a minimum of 2 hours of classroom and field instruction, 5 days a week, with monthly field trips (TBA). The rest of the time will be spent engaging in ongoing FARM Center projects such as: planting, managing and harvesting multiple regenerative agroforestry systems, farm produce processing, nursery work and propagation, animal care, ergonomic tool use & maintenance, and contributing to an ongoing species profile project.

  • 2 hours instruction 5 days/week
  • 5 hours hands-on project work 5 days/week
  • 2-4 hours on species profile project/week
  • ~40 hrs total/week
Students during tool care and maintenance class, 2017, photo by Sophia Bowart

Sample Weekday Schedule:

  • 7-8 AM Breakfast
  • 8-9 AM Daily Check in
  • 9-11 AM Hands-on Project Work
  • 11-12 PM Tool Care & Maintenance
  • 12-1 PM Lunch
  • 1-3 PM Instruction
  • 3-5 PM Hands-on Project work
  • 5-6 PM Personal time/Species profile project
  • 6-8 PM Dinner
Students preparing beds for planting 2017, photo by Sophia Bowart

After 6 weeks students will:

  • Have a foundation in agroforestry systems and the fundamentals of regenerative agriculture.
  • Learn how to plan, install and manage different multi-strata agroforestry systems onsite.
  • Design their own regenerative agroforestry systems along with installation and management plans.

(While our site is located in the tropics, we can teach students how to apply these same methods in temperate environments as well.)

Topics covered:

  • Fundamentals of abundant food crops
  • Building soils using natural regeneration
  • How to establish and manage a food forest
  • How to avoid common mistakes

Cost:

  • 6-week program @ $500/person/week
  • $3000/person/6-week program
  • Maximum of 6 participants per session.

Accommodations & Food

Rustic cabins with a comfortable bed. Composting toilet and hot shower provided. Laundry available onsite. No cell reception or wifi, limited internet access.

Basic vegetarian provisions provided as bulk food and farm fresh produce. Students will be responsible for cooking own meals excepting communal feasts TBA.

Photos by Neil Logan and Sophia Bowart

Teachers:

Neil Logan teaching at Agroforestry Net Workshop 2016, photo by Craig Elevitch

Neil Logan is an agricultural innovator, drawing inspiration from agro-successional restoration, ethnobotany, mycology, permaculture, and numerous other fields. For the past 16 years, Neil has developed practical strategies, inspired by the work of Ernst Götsch, whom he first studied with in 2001. Together with his wife Sophia Bowart, he has been refining practical strategies for diverse agricultural production systems that can recover the costs of establishment within a few years. Neil has worked on projects in many different ecosystems around the globe, including in Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, New Zealand, and Canada. He is currently co-managing Mohala Lehua Farm and FARM Center and authoring several publications about agroforestry and Kiawe (Prosopis limensis) in Hawaii. Neil is a dynamic orator, teaching agroforestry, mycology, permaculture, horticulture, and herbalism for over 16 years. His capacity to impart big picture as well as practical perspectives to diverse audiences is one of his greatest strengths. In 2017, he co-founded Aloha Syntropica with Craig Elevitch and Sophia Bowart, and was a lead instructor in the Regeneration Agroforestry Workshop Series.

Sophia Bowart teaching at Aloha Syntropica Workshop, August 2017, photo by Craig Elevitch

Sophia Bowart had a dream of transforming an open pasture into a food-producing regenerative ecosystem. She leveraged her background in non-profit development and sustainable business management to pioneer Mohala Lehua Farm in Hawi, Hawaii in 2006. Today, Mohala Lehua is still a rare example of regeneration of degraded pasture lands in Hawaii. Together with her husband Neil Logan, she has authored and presented on sustainable sandalwood agroforestry systems demonstrated at their farm. Sophia has worked to promote the Buy Local/Eat Local Campaign and the Hawaii Alliance for a Local Living Economy (HALE). Her passions for the economics of sustainable agriculture have inspired her to co-found FARM Center, which is dedicated to the recovery and vitalization of our planet's varied forest ecosystems, by protecting healthy watersheds and cultivating biological and cultural diversity. She has a knack for processing raw products from the farm into delicious and nutritious fare. In 2016, FARM Center in coordination with Agroforestry Net, brought Ernst Götsch to Hawaii in order to bring Syntropic Agriculture—Regeneration Agroforestry to the Pacific. In 2017, she co-founded Aloha Syntropica with Craig Elevitch and Neil Logan, and was a lead instructor in the Regeneration Agroforestry Workshop Series.

Advisors and collaborating organizations:

  • Craig Elevitch - Hawaii Homegrown Food Network, Agroforestry Net, Aloha Syntropica
  • Susan Leopold - United Plant Savers
  • Kathleen Harrison - Botanical Dimensions
  • John Talberth - Center for Sustainable Economy
  • Ernst Gotsch, Henrique Souza, Felipe Pasini - Agenda Gotsch
  • Kalani Souza - Olohana Foundation
  • Robin Vanloon - Camino Verde
  • Amanda Rieux - Mala’ai Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School

Testimonials:

"To study and practice with Neil and Sophia is a beautiful and informative experience. Their engaged teaching style is enhanced by their true care for the environment and for you and your development whilst in their program. In my time with them I built a strong foundational understanding of agroforestry systems, and an awareness and appreciation for natural systems that has served me in several different arenas. The combination of academic instruction and hands on work was perfect for someone like me who loves being physical, but needs the intellectual stimulation of rigorous learning. Neil and Sophia are genuinely brilliant and experienced farmers, and studying with them will absolutely give you the tools you need to start (or enhance) your agricultural journey." - Yvette Tetteh, Founder of Pure and Just Co. Ltd.

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