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Karakul Sheep on Silvopasture


AOOA is a regenerative silvopasture farm. This means all the work we do must ameliorate the soil and biodiversity (regenerative). It also means we work within a framework where woody perennials (trees and shrubs) are deliberately used on the same land-management units as agricultural crops and/or animals (silvopasture or agroforestry). We strongly believe, and at this point, many studies show, these are the best and most responsible farming practices.

We are super enthusiastic about our land management practices but individuals generally do not know what we excitedly blab about when we say silvopasture, agroforestry, farming with beneficial insects... Time and again we have to explain how the work we are doing here at AOOA is in service of our local ecosystem!


Additional resources and cursory descriptions of why AOOA is so darn enlivened about what we are doing!


Agroforestry: Enhancing Resiliency in U.S. Agricultural Landscapes Under Changing Conditions

The introduction & Chapter 2 explains what agroforestry is and how it can provide ecosystem services and benefits such as soil erosion control, microclimate modification for yield enhancement, economic diversification, livestock production and well-being, water quality protection, enhanced ecosystem services provided by insect pollinators.

USDA & National Agroforestry Center:  Working Trees for Water Quality

This report explains how carefully planned trees do wonders for water quality! Check out the part labeled “C” on page 3, It looks a lot like AOOA!!

Forests, Temperate Agroforestry Systems and Insect Pollinators: A Review

A good resource for individuals wondering why we have integrated brush piles in our silvopastures.

Agroforestry Practices, Runoff, and Nutrient Loss: A Paired Watershed Comparison

The classic "more trees in ag lands help prevent runoff."  This paper shows hows how nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment export are reduced with perennial grass strips and tree rows. This is based on runoff from tilled corn and soy, so it is a way more extreme example than AOOA, but still useful! 

Agroforestry for the Northeastern United States: Research, Practice, & Possibilities

Our former silvopasture manager Eli Roberts wrote "Agroforestry for the Northeastern United States: Research, Practice, & Possibilities" as part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series. His chapter is all about setting up these beautiful systems! 

Regenerative Practices leveraged at AOOA

Silvopasture, tree fodder/intensive silvopasture, medicinal plants for sheep, cover cropping, no-till vegetable growing, mulching conservation biocontrol, brush piles, multifunctional plants, planted vineyard alleys, diverse native plants, wildflower meadows, matching crops to the land, keyline design (row layout), rotational grazing, and multispecies grazing

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