Regenerative Farm Enterprise Planning Workshop (Virginia, USA, October 18-23, 2014)

What: Regenerative Farm Enterprise Planning Workshop
Where: Shannon Farm Community in Afton, Virginia, USA
When: October 18-23, 2014
Who: With Eric Toensmeier, Rafter Sass Ferguson, and Elizabeth Ü

Register through Blue Ridge Permaculture.

Scaling up ecological agriculture is one of the critical challenges we face in addressing climate change and the global food crisis. Integrated perennial farm businesses are a key part of the solution when planned and managed effectively; join us to learn and practice how!

This 6-day course integrates time-tested farm business planning tools with the holistic landscape planning of permaculture and cutting-edge creative financing strategies. Experienced leaders will guide participants through an intensive planning/design process, from initial visioning, through successional enterprise budgeting, to design of the farm landscape. In this dynamic course, participants will design in teams working on a shared project, with structured time for participants to integrate what they are learning with their own goals and projects. Special sessions will bring in the insight of experienced permaculture farmers.

Topics include:

  • identifying and prioritizing values and goals
  • land location and capability and land use planning
  • enterprise selection strategies with a focus on… regenerative farming practices and production systems: perennial and tree crops, managed grazing and livestock integration, and other practices
  • financial modeling, record keeping, and optimising financial sustainability
  • financing regenerative enterprises through community supported models, crowdfunding, and other creative methods
  • start-up and long-term development strategies on US permaculture farms
  • budgeting for integrated perennial and livestock systems
  • market research and strategies

Participants will come away with the skills necessary to build their own regenerative enterprise scenario, and a roadmap for fleshing it out into a full farm and business plan.

Cost for the course is a sliding scale of $595 – $895. Limited scholarships, work trade, and group discount options are available. For more information contact Terry Lilley at tygerlilley (at) or visit the Blue Ridge Permaculture website.


Elizabeth Ü is the author of Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business, a book designed to help entrepreneurs navigate the complex and ever-evolving world of financing options, from traditional debt and venture capital, to community-supported models, non-voting preferred stock, and the many forms of crowdfunding. Elizabeth founded the nonprofit Finance for Food in 2010, and is a strategic and financial consultant to businesses, organizations, and individuals. Earlier in her career, Elizabeth served on the staff of RSF SocialFinance, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, and Slow Money, helping launch a number of products and initiatives; she is also a Food and Community Fellow. Learn more aboutElizabeth’s work and clients at

Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. Eric is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, and an international trainer, presenting in English and Spanish in the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean. Eric co-wrote Exploring the Small Farm Dream and co-developed the Exploring the Small Farm Dream and Small Farm Planner courses. He is currently writing Carbon Farming: a Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices. Eric has worked as a farm project manager for Nuestras Raices Inc. and ran a seed company for several years.

Rafter Sass Ferguson is an agroecologist and permaculturist conducting dissertation research on farm-scale permaculture. In 2013 he drove 18,000 miles around the US to visit 48 permaculture farm sites and collect data on enterprise economics and land use. He presents his research on permaculture, farms, and food system transition, to popular and academic audiences around the country. He has been teaching permaculture and project design since 2005. His review article “Permaculture for Agroecology” (published 2013 in Agronomy for Sustainable development) is the first ever peer-reviewed assessment of the application of permaculture to farm design. He currently holds a Agroecology Scholars Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Register through Blue Ridge Permaculture.



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