Kevin Wolz from The Savanna Institute is doing research on Woody Perennial Polycultures (A Mark Shepard style system) at the University of Illinois.[Content protected for Lifetime, Yearly, Monthly members only]
Info on The Savanna Institute, Kevin Wolz and Woody Perennial Polycultures:
About Woody Perennial Polycultures:
A Woody Perennial Polycultures (WPP) is an assemblage of plant species that aims to mimic the structure and function of natural ecosystems to sustainably produce an agricultural yield while simultaneously restoring ecosystem services. Rather than perpetuating the separation of nature and humans, this system attempts to break down the dichotomy between ecological restoration and agriculture. This concept has grown and evolved out of fields such as agroecology, agroforestry, permaculture, silvopasture, carbon farming, and ecological restoration, but the application of this paradigm to large-scale industrial agriculture is a relatively new idea. The WPP community studied at this research site is an example of such a system that has the potential to become an ecologically sound, agriculturally productive, and economically viable alternative to the corn-soybean rotation (Herbaceous Annual Monoculture) that currently dominates agriculture in the Midwestern U.S.
Restoration Agriculture is the intentional restoration of healthy, functional ecosystems as the context for economically viable farm operations. Perennial crops, livestock, fungus, and pollinators are integrated to produce abundant food, fiber, and fuel and simultaneously restore critical ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water purification and infiltration, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity.
Thanks Kevin for sharing your valuable research on these Woody Perennial Polycultures!