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Classes for 2020

All classes will be at Raven Ridge Agro-Forestry Farm in Marshall, NC unless otherwise noted. Please contact us at with any questions and to register via personal communication. Please use Venmo: Raven-Ridge-Farmscapes or Paypal: to reserve your class. In an effort to save $276/year by upgrading and keep classes affordable, we cannot add payment link to the webpage.

Saturday February 29th, 2020

Pruning and Grafting Fruit Trees

James has been leading this module since 2008. He will give thorough instruction on how to professionally prune both young and mature apple and pear trees. Grafting methods will be covered: whip-and-tongue, V-notch graft/cleft graft, bud graft and top-working. We will cover tool maintenance and sharpening as well. Participants will be given handouts with additional information and practical advice on how to achieve success raising fruit at any scale of backyard or small farm.


Folks are encouraged to bring their own pruners, loppers & a handsaw to work their own tree after a broad tutorial. Pack a big snack, good walking shoes and a water bottle. 10am-3pm $25


March 21, 2020 Raven Ridge Farm

Agro-Forestry Field Layout and Installation

This day long class offers a unique look at high density plantings of fruit, nut & N-fixing trees focusing on low-tech, low-budget options. Participants will learn with a practical eyes-on, hands-in approach: how to prep a field, plant bare-root trees (and direct seed), where to order your stock, use of tree shelters and how to maintain the trees until maturity. Additionally, folks will get an idea of what they would like to grow on their farm or homestead to feed themselves and their animals.


At Raven Ridge, we have a living classroom of young, medium and mature trees, we raise our own seedlings and have a diverse array of unique fruit and nut trees. Our newest project, is a recently acquired field of 7-year old Virginia Pine on which we are using forest succession and selective removal to favor a high-density planting of Chestnut, Persimmon, Apple, Pear, and Mulberry. Our goal is to alley crop between the fruit/nut trees after three years raising nutrient dense crops like OP corn and root vegetables after the pine has left the system.


The selection and management of beneficial trees helps to optimize your hillside land for abundance, erosion-control, wildlife conservation, profitability and long-term soil fertility. In this module, you will take away a diverse array of ideas and practical knowledge about how agro-forestry practices can help your farm or homestead become resilient.

$25, bring good footwear for walking, water and snacks. Handouts will be provided for follow-up with recommendations on where to purchase trees. Expect to do MORE walking than our other offerings as we will be looking at 2 broad acre plantings about 1/8 mile apart on adjacent ridges.


Daniel Isner of ABHA farm, our next door neighbor will be showing us how he uses the BCS walk-behind tractor to grow crops on hillsides between new plantings of trees.

Homework: watch the 10 minute YouTube search word, "Habitat 3" on the MIAF farmers of Verecruz, MX


March 28, Raven Ridge Farm

Korean Natural Farming 101

Joe Lorusso ran his own 7.0 acre farm in Hawaii where he met and studied with Master Cho, the originator of Korean Natural Farming. This is a unique and radical technique new to the growing scene, in which farmers and gardeners use the natural world to make fermented plant juices and IMO's (Indigenous Micro-organisms) to feed their plants and the soil food web.

In this full-day workshop, participants will learn the theory and practice feeding soil biology with the Korean Natural Farming method.

Expect to have your eyes opened and your noggin expanded. Joe is a knowledgable instructor with a deep understanding of KNF and a down-to-earth way of conveying it to novices. If you're turned on by this 101 class, expect to come for 201 in September.

$35, Bring water bottle, good walking shoes and a big snack. It's likely we will provide a light warm lunch.

Saturday April 11

Chainsaw safety and operation

Back by popular demand, this module on the ownership, operation and safety of a saw will help you get comfortable with the basics of starting, adjusting, handling and using your saw for simple tasks like removing brush and bucking small logs. If you have attended this class in the past and want to skip ahead to the Directional Tree Falling class, please email me at

10-3pm, bring good walking shoes, water bottles and snacks. Also, please bring your saw, chainsaw safety pants (chaps), helmet and gloves if you have them

$45, class capped at 6 participants for maximum learning

Saturday, May 2

Directional Tree-Falling

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Saturday June 6 2020

Growing All Your Own Food: Tour 3 Agro-Forestry Farms

In celebration Of our 11th anniversary, we are inviting you for a walking tour of the agriculture projects in our rural neighborhood. First, we will tour the home hill with it's unique array of tiny home architecture and edible forest garden for a taste of the seasons first Goumi and Blueberries right off the bush. Then, we will walk over a bridge to take a look at the newest agro-forestry plantings in an early succession field of virginia pine. Here, you will get a broad idea of good tree crops for NC. From there, we will take a sweet forest trail to another close farm to inspect the the corn and hemp plantings on hillside pasture at ABHA Farm. Finally we will tour 'Lane in the Woods' Creamery for a taste of their fresh cheese and a visit with their Jersey cows.

$25, wear good walking shoes, bring water for yourself and sun protection. Tour will be 10-2pm

September 12, 2020

Korean Natural Farming 201

Joe Lorusso comes again to Raven Ridge to lead the advanced KNF module to the hardcore FPJ/IMO enthusiast


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