The community-scale permaculture farm The D Acres model for creating and managing an ecologically designed educational center

Josh Trought

Book - 2015

Emphasizing collaboration, cooperation, and mutualism, this book promises to inspire a new generation of growers, builders, educators, artists, and dreamers who are seeking new and practical ways to address today's problems on a community scale.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 631.58/Trought Checked In
White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green Publishing [2015]
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xi, 395 pages ; 26 cm
Main Author
Josh Trought (author)
  • Current paradigm
  • Historical precedents
  • Sense of place
  • History of the project and people
  • Daily life
  • Meetings
  • Budget
  • Governance
  • Animals
  • Buildings
  • Renewables
  • Water systems
  • Food systems
  • Garden development and soil strategy
  • The farm ecology
  • Forestry
  • Community outreach
  • Cottage industry
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Ideas to come.
Review by Booklist Reviews

The word permaculture, a shorthand term fusing permanent agriculture with permanent culture, is a recent innovation based on the ecological ideal of caring for the earth and for people by reinvesting any surplus back into the system to minimize waste. Although there are still only a handful of fully functioning permaculture farms worldwide, D Acres near Dorchester, New Hampshire, serves as a role model for other communities aspiring to a high level of sustainability. In this sumptuous handbook of tools and ideas, D Acres cofounder Trought provides a comprehensive blueprint for creating an environmentally and culturally balanced community homestead and shares some of the economic and organizational experiments he and his collaborators have tried over the years. Twenty detailed chapters cover all the fundamentals of running a permaculture-based farm, from governance to budgeting and communication philosophy, as well as designing buildings, setting up water irrigation systems, and managing no-till agriculture. An immensely useful guidebook for organic farmers, cohousing advocates, and anyone interested in learning about a place where sustainability is truly possible. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this meticulously detailed book, Trought relates the lessons gleaned from 17 years of establishing and running D Acres, a nonprofit, community service–oriented farm in the challenging soil and climate of northern New Hampshire. With a serious, pedantic style more common to business books than to the cheerful permaculture genre, he provides extensive descriptions of historical precedents; local geography, geology, climate, and economy; fund-raising; marketing; and community governance and decision-making (there's a whole chapter on meetings). In addition, there's more-typical discussion of soil-building, animal husbandry, alternative building techniques, cottage industries, ecological integration, and community engagement. The exposition is threaded with political commentary and seasoned with a strong dose of an admirable but dauntingly earnest ethic. Despite Trought's sincere love for his work and willingness to share abundant knowledge and experience, his somber, didactic tone may discourage budding eco-villagers still at the initial dreaming and planning stages. His lessons may be more useful and inspiring to those already ankle-deep in their own land-based community ventures. (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Trought presents students, academics, researchers, and general-interest readers with a comprehensive examination of the twenty-year history, evolving practices and principles, and contemporary function of D Acres permaculture farm in New Hampshire. The author has organized the main body of his text in twenty chapters devoted to the current paradigm in farming, historical precedents for D Acres, the sense of place on the farm, a history of the project and the people involved, the daily life on the farm, meetings, budgeting, governance, the animals, the buildings, the renewable resources, the water systems, the food systems, and a wide variety of other subjects related to the farm. Josh Trought helped found D Acres and currently serves as its director. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Review by Publisher Summary 2

With practical examples of alternative building, renewable energy, holistic forestry, no-till gardening, hospitality management, community outreach, and moreThe Community-Scale Permaculture Farm describes not only the history of the D Acres project, but its evolving principles and practices that are rooted in the land, its inhabitants, and the joy inherent in collective empowerment.For almost twenty years, D Acres of New Hampshire has challenged and expanded the common definition of a farm. As an educational center that researches, applies, and teaches skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic farming, D Acres serves more than just a single function to its community. By turns it is a hostel for travelers to northern New England, a training center for everything from metal- and woodworking to cob building and seasonal cooking, a gathering place for music, poetry, joke-telling, and potluck meals, and much more.While this book provides a wide spectrum of practical information on the physical systems designed into a community-scale homestead, Trought also reviews the economics and organizational particulars that D Acres has experimented with over the years.The D Acres model envisions a way to devise a sustainable future by building a localized economy that provides more than seasonal produce, a handful of eggs, and green appliances. With the goal of perennial viability for humanity within their ecosystem, D Acres is attempting an approach to sustainability that encompasses practical, spiritual, and ethical components. In short: They are trying to create a rural community ecology that evolves in perpetuity.From working with oxen to working with a board of directors, no other book contains such a wealth of innovative ideas and ways to make your farm or homestead not only more sustainable, but more inclusive of, and beneficial to, the larger community. Readers will find information on such subjects as:Working with pigs to transform forested landscapes into arable land;Designing and building unique, multifunctional farm and community spaces using various techniques and materials;Creating and perpetuating diverse revenue streams to keep your farm organization solvent and resilient;Receiving maximum benefits and yields for the farm without denigrating resources or the regional ecology;Implementing a fair and effective governance structure;Constructing everything from solar dehydrators and cookers to treehouses and ponds; and,Connecting and partnering with the larger community beyond the farm.Emphasizing collaboration, cooperation, and mutualism, this book promises to inspire a new generation of growers, builders, educators, artists, and dreamers who are seeking new and practical ways to address today’s problems on a community scale.