Integrating Forestry Systems to our landscapes and enterprises

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With nearly 30 years of experience and literally thousands of farm plans under his belt, Darren J. Doherty comes to the Northern Rivers to teach the course “Forestry in Practice“. The course equips farmers to holistically integrate trees in their landscapes and enterprises. Darren, who also works closely with livestock producers, has been an adamant promoter of tree integration for all farm enterprises. The course will run on the 9th and 10th of February, 2019, at the Holos Regenerative Design learning site in Brunswick Heads, Northern New South Wales.

Australian farmers face the challenge of having to produce food, fibre and timber in one of the harshest climates on earth. In addition, corporate lobby has driven farmers to produce in ways that contribute the most to climate change and biodiversity loss; two major problems that threaten our existence in the planet. Some reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) point out that conventional agriculture loses 20 tonnes of top soil to erosion processes every year to produce 500 kilos of food per person.

The good news is that integration and good management of trees not only prevents soil erosion, but it also increases productivity. Moreover, the integration of agroforestry systems in farms also restore the water cycles and tables, drought proofing farms while supporting the production of nutrient dense food and quality timber. In a recent tour entitled, “Can farmers be the heroes of the future?”, expert regenerative agriculture farmer and writer Dr. Charles Massy, called attention to the fact that farmers integrating trees in as much as 20 to 40% of their properties are boosting their pasture, livestock and food production in the same area. Agroforestry systems, because of their diversity and multidimensional structure, Massy says, can stack up to 8 to 10 enterprises in the same area.

During the course, expert farm planner Darren will explain the concept of natural succession, or how nature create life support systems through the complex associations amongst fauna, flora and fungi. Darren will also teach how the different forestry layouts can suit different farm enterprises, restoration projects and topography. One of Darren’s specialties is the”Keyline® Scale of Permanence” (KSOP), a concept create by the late Australian inventor and farmer, P. A. Yeomans. Created to increase productivity, prevent erosion and drought proof rural properties Darren has based his own 10 layer Regrarians Platform® on the KSOP to plan and manage thriving properties that are also resilient to the climate’s uncertainties. How farmers deal with water and tree systems in their properties is central to this regenerative agriculture approach that is also part of Darren’s program for the “Forestry in Practice” course.

The course will be taught at the Holos Regenerative Design learning site in Brunswick Heads, NSW and although the forestry principles taught are universal, some of the knowledge and practices focus exclusively on the subtropical climate of northern NSW and southeaster QLD. The Holos crew designed and implemented two agroforestry systems using a hybrid approach that combines a Keyline® layout with successional agroforestry or Syntropic Farming, as this modality is becoming known out of Brazil. The two agroforestry systems implemented at the Holos site have different purposes. While a smaller site is being developed to grow beyond organic nutrient dense produce, the larger plot will also produce grains and integrate a free-range egg enterprise.

Those attending the course can expect a highly engaging and empowering program. Both Darren’s and Holos’ team goal with this course is to empower farmers to use trees to build ecological and financial resilience in the face of climate change and the challenges it brings to primary producers. For more information about the course’s program and cost please visit the booking page or contact Eurico Vianna sending an email to

Enroll for the Course

Darren’s course teach farmers how to integrate agroforestry systems in their properties to build drought resilient farms, increase profitability and biodiversity. Tickets & Info on the course.