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The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm

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The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm

The D Acres Model for Creating and Managing an Ecologically Designed Educational Center

By Josh Trought


About This Book

With practical examples of alternative building, renewable energy, holistic forestry, no-till gardening, hospitality management, community outreach, and more

The Community-Scale Permaculture Farm describes not only the history of the D Acres project, but its evolving principles and practices that are rooted in the land, its inhabitants, and the joy inherent in collective empowerment.

For almost twenty years, D Acres of New Hampshire has challenged and expanded the common definition of a farm. As an educational center that researches, applies, and teaches skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic farming, D Acres serves more than just a single function to its community. By turns it is a hostel for travelers to northern New England, a training center for everything from metal- and woodworking to cob building and seasonal cooking, a gathering place for music, poetry, joke-telling, and potluck meals, and much more.

While this book provides a wide spectrum of practical information on the physical systems designed into a community-scale homestead, Trought also reviews the economics and organizational particulars that D Acres has experimented with over the years.

The D Acres model envisions a way to devise a sustainable future by building a localized economy that provides more than seasonal produce, a handful of eggs, and green appliances. With the goal of perennial viability for humanity within their ecosystem, D Acres is attempting an approach to sustainability that encompasses practical, spiritual, and ethical components. In short: They are trying to create a rural community ecology that evolves in perpetuity.

From working with oxen to working with a board of directors, no other book contains such a wealth of innovative ideas and ways to make your farm or homestead not only more sustainable, but more inclusive of, and beneficial to, the larger community. Readers will find information on such subjects as:

  • Working with pigs to transform forested landscapes into arable land;
  • Designing and building unique, multifunctional farm and community spaces using various techniques and materials;
  • Creating and perpetuating diverse revenue streams to keep your farm organization solvent and resilient;
  • Receiving maximum benefits and yields for the farm without denigrating resources or the regional ecology;
  • Implementing a fair and effective governance structure;
  • Constructing everything from solar dehydrators and cookers to treehouses and ponds; and,
  • Connecting and partnering with the larger community beyond the farm.

Emphasizing collaboration, cooperation, and mutualism, this book promises to inspire a new generation of growers, builders, educators, artists, and dreamers who are seeking new and practical ways to address today’s problems on a community scale.


About The Author

Josh Trought helped to found D Acres of New Hampshire in 1997, and today serves as its director. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in environmental conservation, and has worked for organizations as diverse as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Costa Rica’s Tapantí National Park. Currently he is a member of the Artistic Roots co-op in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and serves as treasurer of the Pemi-Baker Solid Waste District. His proudest accomplishments are as a participant at the Bread and Puppet Theater; at La Caravana Arcoiris por la Paz, a mobile ecovillage that traveled across Central and South America; and at D Acres, where he has specialized in forestry, construction, gardening, and administration. The primary motivation behind his life’s work is the healthy perpetuation of our species within its various, diverse ecologies.


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