Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

First Advisor

Amy Seidl

Second Advisor

Thomas Hudspeth

Third Advisor

Stephanie Hurley

Keywords

Vermont, climate change, permaculture, agriculture

Abstract

An ecological landscape design that increases the resiliency of Greenleaf Farm in the face of a changing climate is the basis for this project thesis. It is a comprehensive long-term master plan that integrates various agricultural and land management techniques in an attempt to increase resiliency, i.e. ecological and human/cultural resiliency. Patterns in the landscape inform design decisions and serve as models for agricultural systems. The landscape’s tendency to be forested and the goal for production of diverse resources inform the method to integrate ecological goals of the land with greater resilience. Applying the concepts of complexity and diversity to Greenleaf Farm was key to improving resiliency and regeneration. True resiliency in human-altered landscapes depends greatly on the human systems that support it, including the economic system. Economic resilience consists of a diversified production system and income, as well as the cultural systems that keep stewards on the land. Farm resilience means insurance of essential needs by being redundant in sources for those needs. Lasting resilience requires continuous and thoughtful observation rather than thoughtless labor and looking for multifunctionality in all components of a system rather than treating elements as a single product system. Developing a symbiotic relationship to the landscape requires one to think like an ecosystem and cultivate a deeply seeded connection to the surrounding landscape.

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