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Sepp Holzer

Josef ("Sepp") Holzer was born in the Province of Salzburg, Austria. He is a farmer, author and an international consultant for natural agriculture. He took over his parents' mountain farm business in 1962 and pioneered the use of ecological farming, or permaculture, techniques at high altitudes (1,100 to 1,500 meters above sea level) after being unsuccessful with regular farming methods. Called the "rebel farmer" because he persisted in these practices despite being fined and even threatened with prison for practices such as not pruning his fruit trees (unpruned fruit trees survive snow loads that will break pruned trees). He has also created some of the worlds best examples of using ponds as reflectors to increase solar gain for passive solar heating of structures, and of using the microclimate created by rock outcrops to effectively change the hardiness zone for nearby plants. He has also done original work in the use of Hugelkultur and natural branch development. He is conducting permaculture ("Holzer Permaculture") seminars at his farm and worldwide, while continuing to work on his alpine farm. His farm now spans over 45 hectares of forest gardens, including 70 ponds, and is said to be the most consistent example of permaculture worldwide. He is author of several books and the subject of the film The Agricultural Rebel. He works nationally as permaculture-activist in the established agricultural industry, and works internationally as adviser for ecological agriculture.

    Sepp's Upcoming Events

    • Sepp Holzer at Spirit Mountain Farm
      , Duluth MN
      May 30, 2014, 12:00 pm

      Sepp will teach a three-day "Holzerculture" workshop at Spirit Mountain Farm, May 30-June 1. Come be a part of the first generation of North American Holzer practitioners! Learn how to construct terraces and hugelbeds, and create microclimates that allow an incredible garden to come forth.

    Sepp's Books

    Desert or Paradise

    Restoring Endangered Landscapes Using Water Management, Including Lake and Pond Construction

    Through years of consultation with other countries, Holzer has developed a core philosophy for reconnecting mankind with nature even in arid or otherwise "lost-cause" regions. Holzer's latest book is a guide to the construction of large water reservoirs in arid, rainfall-dependent regions, with examples from Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Portugal. Holzer also outlines his ten points of sustainable self-reliance and how these methods can help feed the world, such as the need to regulate the water budget, eliminate factory livestock farming, and more.

    Sepp Holzer's Permaculture

    A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening

    In this book, Sepp Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer writes about everything from the overall concepts, down to the practical details.

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