Philosophies, Methods and Practices for Mutualizing
Human Relationships with the Environment
A three day workshop with Mark Fulford
Day 1: Tuesday, April 12
Day 2: Tuesday, June 7
Day 3: Tuesday, September 20
9:00am - 5:00pm, potluck lunch
Location: Kittredge Farm
24 Hillsville Rd
North Brookfield, MA [map]
Interested in the one-day workshop/tour at Mark Fulford's farm in Monroe, ME?
Join us for a three-day workshop series over the course of the growing season with Mark Fulford of Teltane Farm in Monroe, Maine. We will explore a range of practices and philosophies embracing common sense, science and cultural wisdom for the times we live in. Mark grounds his practices in experience, while bringing with him a lifelong study of the natural world and immersion in agriculture on his own farm and abroad, having studied with some of the most accomplished mentors in biological agriculture, including Dr. Arden Andersen, Neal Kinsey, Dan Skow, Gary Zimmer, Elaine Ingham, Jerry Brunetti and Graeme Sait among others.
Mark Fulford has just added an additional one-day workshop/tour at his farm in Monroe, ME for all interested in a personal walk-through from one of the most highly-respected growers in the Northeast! A fantastic opportunity to see the Farm Evolutions workshop philosophies and principles applied on Mark's own Teltane Farm. Learn more
Workshop outlineDay 1 / April 12
- Observations of humans out of synchronicity with life.
- Watching your footsteps as you begin a new farming season, and planning for your effect on the land for generations ahead.
- Overview of method changes from around the world.
- Practicing Mutualistic Agriculture.
- Building and storing soil and biological wealth as you farm.
- Nature always fills a vacuum – let's fill it with sound choices.
- Setting up for next year as you enter harvest season.
- Less can be more with complexity.
- Becoming hosts for a balanced farm ecosystem.
- Humans as participants rather than resource miners.
A few questions for Mark Fulford
In anticipation of the upcoming workshop, Mark kindly shared a few thoughts about what he is bringing to the workshop, and what he hopes course participants will take away from the shared experience.
From when you first started farming, how did you amass your knowledge, and when was, if any, the "Ah Ha" moment for you?
Mark: I started gardening seriously when I was 8. I took farm and garden related jobs all through school. These employers who I asked much of, were my first mentors. During high school, I gardened intensively with compost manures and any available inputs from the family neighborhood in PA. Putting food on the table was always a source of pride and enjoyment.
I have been market farming from '79 till the present in Monroe ME, and have expanded to nursery and orchard development at home while using neighborhood fields for grain and root crops. By '82, when local resources of information were coming up short with solutions to common problems, I engaged in outside-the-box studies and correspondence to find answers. I feel fortunate that I was NOT trained in university models of agriculture, yet study the parts that do fit and lead to success.
As always, I have more questions than answers, so seeking and practicing 'on-the-edge' with methods and experimentation from around the world, I find a continuing wealth of resources where an international exchange of information keeps many of us restless agronomists from many cultures, inspired and busy.
Most of us regard our work as needing to function beyond the limitations of political, religious, and corporatized sciences, in order to serve the real nutritional and soil derived socio-economic needs of all people. With this free cooperation we mutually discover there is much more we can do to repair our planetary environment outside of the current paradigm.
With a troubled global climate, diminishing soils, water, nourishment and space, conflicts and poverty are all directly linked to how well we conduct ourselves as a species. What happens with soil, water and food on the other side of the planet has an impact on us as well.
You have studied multiple systems of farming. Is there a common theme throughout?
M: First - cooperate with biology on its terms. When the soil is made comfortable, all else becomes much easier.
What are you hoping participants will walk away with and begin to implement on their fields?
M: Embrace and put to work: systems and soil economies that are not limited by chemistry or cash flow alone. Develop a sense of biotic mutualism. There should be no such thing as ‘waste’. That is a uniquely human assumption. Are we growing soil tests and balance sheets or are we growing food? Are we farming competitively or cooperatively? Will your children or your neighbor’s children happily pick up where you leave off? Based on what is possible, have we evolved or devolved land under our stewardship?
How should participants prepare for the upcoming workshop?
M: Be ready to take notes, ask questions, keep an open mind, challenge one’s own reasons, integrity and practices in farming.
About Mark Fulford
Mark Fulford is a well known, independent farm consultant and educator whose range of topics and expertise encompasses: transitioning from conventional to organic and biological agriculture; soil, crop, and forage nutrition; and preparing agriculture for peak oil, climate change and economic drift. He also teaches non-electric water technologies, hands-on skills in organic orcharding, organic no-till crop production, commercial and small scale composting, as well as fundamental rural skills and small farm food preservation.
Mark addresses audiences from a wide range of backgrounds and philosophies embracing common sense, science and cultural wisdom for the times we live in. His lifelong study of the natural world and immersion in agriculture on his own farm and abroad, grounds his practices in experience. Mark and his wife, Paula, own and operate Teltane Farm in Monroe, Maine.
Says Mark very simply, “Quality of life is a health issue. Good health is food dependent, and good food depends on soil health."