AFTA PANEL: Agroforestry, Biodiversity, and Restoration Agriculture

Day 3 – Tuesday, Dec. 8th, 2020

10am – 11am

AFTA PANEL: Agroforestry, Biodiversity, and Restoration Agriculture

Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds

Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance

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Beneficial birds eat pests when farms provide for their needs. Researchers around the world are partnering with farmers to use new science and build on more than 130 years of avian pest control studies. Nest boxes placed in vineyards increased W. Bluebird abundance and diversity and their pest control services by a factor of four. Hedgerows and other woody margins also increase beneficial bird presence and reduce insect pests. If birds are a problem, they are managed with scaring and exclusion techniques and cultural practices. With this session and the associated “Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds” booklet (, we will help farmers, conservationists and academia understand how to make the most of birds on farms.

Advancing agroforestry and biodiversity in the Pacific Northwest

Abel Kloster, Resilience Permaculture Design, LLC   

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This presentation will highlight grants and cost share funding available in the Pacific Northwest for agroforestry projects that enhance habitat and biodiversity. Case studies from projects in oak savannas, riparian hardwood forests, and upland conifer forests will be discussed. We will explore a framework for leveraging technical and financial support for both the planning and implementation phases of projects.

Food Forest Initiative of Cape Cod Food Forest Initiative: Restoration Ag Under the Power Lines in Cape Cod

Rand Burkert, Food Forest Initiative of Cape Cod (Secretary), Orleans Farmers’ Market (Board), Nauset Food and Research Garden

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Power line Right-of Ways are often a no-man’s zone of lanes crisscrossing the world. What if they could be lanes for biodiversity and assisted migration? Food Forest Initiative of Cape Cod is a small, agile bioregional collaborative which works non-hierarchically to problem solve in public spaces. Applying Restoration Agriculture principles, we installed a public Walking Commons on land owned by the Harwich Water Department, with a Right-of-Way easement managed by Eversource. By committing to volunteer vegetation management, we obtained permission to plant 16 species and improved varieties of native edible plants and some experimental introductions. The project, to be observed by Eversource, is a proof of concept; by example, we hope to show that community management is possible, and that mixed agroforestry (with species that grow within meet state-imposed vegetation height limits for power lines) can bolster research into potential economic benefit of mixed perennial plantings. We also intend, through outreach to local schools, to develop citizens-science sub-projects to involve local schools in questions of carbon sequestration and biodiversity. The public space is a valid testing ground both for restoration agriculture and for social permaculture models of civic transformation. The power lines section in question is 90 feet wide by 300 feet. “Integrated Vegetation Management” as practiced by Eversource is accomplished through sub-contracts to arborists who apply herbicide; what if sub-contracts instead were awarded to agro-foresters and harvesting cooperatives who could use the space productively, diversifying power line right of ways to make them nature corridors?   


Nauset Regional High School Food Forest Initiative Core Members: Tom Fettig, Kristin Knowles, Dave Scandurra, Marina Matos, Patrick Otton, Clara McLardy, Sandy McLardy


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