Biodynamics Now! Investigative Farming and Restorative Nutrition Podcast

Mark Shepard is an agriforester and permaculturist He founded and manages Forest Agriculture Enterprises and runs New Forest Farm an 106-acre commercial scale perrennial agricultural ecosystem that was converted  to a self suffecient food forest from a row-crop annual grain farm.

Trained in mechanical enigineering and ecology, Mark has combined these two passions to develop equpment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest-derived agricultural products for human foods and biofuel. Mark is a certified permacultlure designer  who took his training directly from permaculture founder Bill Mollison .  As a student of Mollison, Mark brings a robust masculinty into his permaculture work, working with the larger patterns of the land rather than focusing on the rather dainty features that are often put  forward  by American permies.

Mark teaches agroforestry and permacluture around the world. He lives with his family in Richland County Wisconsin Mark is the author of Restoration Agriculture, Real World Permaculture for Farmers which was published by ACRES USA this past year. It's a remarkable work of agricultural writing, one that I hope everyone will make the time to read in the near future.  You can pick up a copy from Amazon through the show notes at

I want to thanks Anders Skarlin bdnow and Steve Diver of bdnow and for submitting questions for Mark that made this conversation more valuable for everyone. 

As usual, if you'd like to hear more of these podcasts, please take the time to leave a positive comment at or at the bdnow podcast page at itunes which you can link to through the show notes at

Around the globe most people get their calories from annual agriculture - plants that grow fast for one season, produce lots of seeds, then die. Every single human society that has relied on annual crops for staple foods has collapsed. Restoration Agriculture explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs - in your own backyard, farm or ranch. This book, based on real-world practices, presents an alternative to the agriculture system of eradication and offers exciting hope for our future.

Direct download: 13_BDNowPodcastEpisode013MarkShephardRestorationAgriculture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:46pm EST

Peg Shafer and Jean Giblette are two of the most important Asian Medicianal herb growers and teacher in North America

Peg Schafer is the author of the  wonderful Chelsea Green book The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm: A Cultivator's Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production Including chapters on cultivation as well as herb quality, conservation, and medicinal use. Pegs website is full of resource links for herbalists and horticulturists. (in fact there a link to  a complete course in medicinal herb production taught by Peg and Jean through the University of New Mexico and it's free!)

Jean Giblette is a medicinal plant grower, an Asian medicinal plant conservationist, a teacher, an investigator in Chinese medicinal plant production research, and contributor to Mending the Web of Life: Chinese Medicine and Species Conservation. She can be reached at

The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm

A leading light in the field of medicinal herb cultivation, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm is the first cultivation guide of its kind, and presents invaluable information for growers interested in producing high-quality efficacious herbs in all climates of the US, with the historical connectedness of ancient practitioners.

It has become increasingly important-especially as the market for herbal medicine continues to grow-that we transition to local and domestic medicinal cultivation. Increasingly there are concerns in regards to not only the quality but the purity of imported herbs, and wild herbs picked for medicinal purposes are ever more endangered than in past years both at home and abroad.

Peg Schafer, longtime grower and teacher, guides readers with information on propagating, cultivating, and harvesting Chinese herbs, and presents fascinating new scientific data that reveal the age-old wisdom of nature and the traditional systems of Chinese medicine. Through 79 detailed herb profiles--all tested and trialed on Schafer's certified organic farm-Schafer offers easy-to-follow information, suitable for both growers and practitioners, for growing efficacious wild-simulated herbs. Also included is important information on species conservation, crop integration, and how to avoid the introduction of invasive species. Sidebars on traditional medicinal uses for each herb and delicious recipes are also featured throughout.

Vegetable and CSA farmers will find this book of great interest for adding value-added crops to their repertoire, and beginner growers looking to incorporate medicinals into their gardens will find this an invaluable guide to understanding where herbal medicine comes from, and will make eating-your-medicine more accessible than ever. <Chelsea Green>

Paul Jaminet, Ph.D., was an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Paul’s experience overcoming a chronic illness led the Jaminets to develop the views of aging and disease presented in Perfect Health Diet.

Suffering from chronic illness and unable to get satisfactory results from doctors, husband and wife scientists Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet took an intensely personal interest in health and nutrition. They embarked on five years of rigorous research. What they found changed their lives— and the lives of thousands of their readers.

In Perfect Health Diet, the Jaminets explain in layman’s terms how anyone can regain health and lose weight by optimizing nutrition, detoxifying the diet, and supporting healthy immune function. They show how toxic, nutrient-poor diets sabotage health, and how on a healthy diet, diseases often spontaneously resolve.

Perfect Health Diet tells you exactly how to optimize health and make weight loss effortless with a clear, balanced, and scientifically proven plan to change the way you eat—and feel—forever!

Direct download: 11_BDNowPodcastEpisode011PaulJaminetPerfectHealthDiet.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:41am EST