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soil building

Why forests are key to the future of agriculture, with Darren Doherty, co-author of the Regrarian’s Handbook: 142

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Darren Doherty for Abundant Edge.png

The last time I caught up with Darren Doherty for this podcast was back in season two. We talked a lot about his background and entry into ecological agriculture and how that journey informed his development of the Regrarian’s platform and outlook on the potential of regenerative farming. I recently caught up with him again to investigate the new chapter of the Regrarian’s handbook which he and his team just released. Chapter 5 of the 10 in the book which are being relseased one by one in digital format on their website focuses on forests and all the configurations that they come in. Since I’ve covered many of the first few topics from the chapter in other episodes in this ongoing series on reforestation and agroforestry I wanted to get Darren’s take on specific management techniques in a commercially productive woody perennial system. This covers more than just trees and includes plants of that classification at nearly every level of a forest ecology such as bushes and understory crops.

In this interview we start by going over the three main techniques for managing established woody species which are pruning, thinning, and coppicing as well as the incredible amount of things you can accomplish if you understand how to use them effectively. From there we look into harvesting from all the different major types of yields and balancing the need to incorporate efficiency into your system while maintaining a healthy ecosystem that wants more diversity and organic patterning.

We also talk about how to mitigate the initial cost of establishing tree and perennial plants by using upcycled and salvaged materials to start sprouting trees quickly and cheaply right away. By the end Darren also touches on the importance of intervention in our landscapes to more effectively manage wildfires and fire prone areas.

Before we get started I’ll just point out that the interview starts really abruptly because I lost the beginning of the audio with the introductions and pleasantries. Try as I might after 3 season of producing this show I’m still a complete amatuer with audio software so forgive me for another awkward start to this session. The good news is that it all goes smoothly after the start. If any of you want hear more about Darren’s background and journey to become the world renowned regenerative farm designer and educator that he is, I highly recommend the first interview we did for this show back in season two. I’ve put a link to that show as well as all his other resources in the show notes for this episode at abundantedge.com

Resources:

Check out Darren’s first interview about building soil on a large scale

Regrarian’s website

Buy Chapter 5 “Forestry

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