New Forest Farm is a diverse Restoration Agriculture research site in the Driftless Area of Southwestern Wisconsin.
Founded and stewarded by the Shepard family for over 20 years, the land is one of the country’s most ambitious large-scale conversions of former degraded corn farm into a perennial agricultural ecosystem.
New Forest Farm
New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as the ecological models.
Overall, the land attempts to mimic the oak savanna biome. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food, fuel, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, apples, and elderberries are the primary woody crops, and are planted along a keyline™-inspired water management pattern.
Between the tree crops, the grassy alleys are often grazed by cows, pigs, turkeys, sheep, pigs or chickens. These systems are building soil, retaining water, sequestering carbon, diversifying habitat, and cultivating the human being and our ecology.
The farm is entirely solar and wind powered and farm equipment has the capacity to be powered with locally produced biofuels that are not taken from the human food chain.
Come witness and learn from this twenty year old large scale perennial polyculture experiment!
DAY: Saturday, April 15
DAY: Thursday, July 6
Tour Dates (led by Mark Shepard)
Join Mark for a tour of New Forest Farm.
Journey under thousands of chestnut trees, venture through the hazelnut maze, observe Keyline-inspired ponds and swales, and meet the pigs, chickens and any other critters who are grazing beneath the heritage apple trees.
TIME: ~3 hours
COST: $250, then $20 per additional person — group rates available
- Meet at the cydery building where the tour will begin.
- The experience could include sunny skies, rainfall, and walking across hilly terrain. Being mindful of possible sudden changes in weather. It is wise to come prepared wearing long pants, close-toes hiking shoes, rain gear, and sun protection. Be sure to carry along your own water and snacks.
- A home-cooked meal follows the tour, which would include seasonal vegetables and nut-finished pork from the farm. Please email the farm in advance to reserve a spot for this extra treat!
- Short overnight stays are also possible for those traveling long distances or who wish to stay a bit longer. Please be prepared to sleep outdoors and contribute to collective food & work if needed.
If you would prefer to visit the farm during a time or day not listed here, we are still excited to welcome you. Please contact us to schedule a different opportunity.
CONACT US TO COORDINATE YOUR TOUR!
Use this form for questions, inquiries or registering for our farm events!