Beginner finds a home, creates an oasis, and teaches others
**Note: The date for this event was changed after the original blog post. August 23, 24, 25 are the correct dates**
Grant Schultz is a beginning farmer in Practical Farmers’ Savings Incentive Program. Find out more about him and his farming efforts at his website Versaland.com
Despite years of successful commercial garlic growing and having an active role in the new food and farm movement Grant Schultz had a problem all too common to beginning farmers: land access. He was on a constant search for land both to produce the next year’s crop and to buy and finally put-down roots. Grant is not the type to sit idly by as seen by his previous projects including an electric tractor conversion, a home-made garlic separator, and more. Permanent access to land that would enable him to establish his big-picture ideas, however, remained elusive.
Some contacts at the 2013 Practical Farmers Annual Conference led to a permanent home for Grant’s farm. (The rest of that story is coming in a future blog.) Versaland Farm was established near Iowa City this spring and Grant hit the ground running. He set to work establishing a healthy managed ecosystem starting with crop-to-pasture conversion, perennial crop establishment, and keyline design, among others.
As a package the concepts are variously referred to as permaculture, restoration agriculture, regenerative farming, and whole systems design. Practices include multi-species grazing, alley cropping, and agro-forestry. Key terms are sustainability, resiliency, and on-farm integration.
Grant will host a workshop Aug 23, 24, and 25 called “Restoration Ag 101: Keyline Farm Design – Perennial Food and Forage.” Restoration agriculture guru and author Mark Shepard will bring his 20yrs of workshop experience to the event. Learn from an expert, see the systems hands-on at Grant’s Versaland Farm, and hear a beginning farmer success story.