Open Source Ecology – Afforestt Workshop

September 4-6, 2015

Maysville, Missouri, USA

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

The Open Source Ecology – Afforestt Workshop is a 3 day immersion event in Extreme Afforestation. A forest planted by humans, then left to nature’s own devices, typically takes at least 100 years to mature. But what if we could make the process happen ten times faster? In this workshop, OSE is collaborating with TED Fellow and eco-entrepreneur Shubhendu Sharma of Afforestt in creating mini-forest ecosystems using an accelerated method. It’s based on the practices of Japanese forester Akira Miyawaki, as well as on Sharma’s own experiences gleaned from his former career in car manufacturing. We are collaborating with Afforestt in sharing and disseminating knowhow in ways to grow native, self-sustaining forests anywhere in the world, with the efficiency of industrial processes.

We will plant a 2000 square foot Extreme Forest using the Miyawaki Method, and document the process carefully. Participants will experience the process from start to finish, both in the philosophical underpinnings and in the practical skills for preparing and planting a forest. The complete workshop is 3 days, and begins with an exploration of afforestation entrepreneurship. Building upon the applied work of Afforestt, the seminal research of Dr. Miyawaki, the technology transfer of Open Source Ecology, the concept of the Open Source Nursery, learnings from the Miracle Orchard, and the ground-breaking work of woody plant breeding as done by Badgersett Research – we will begin mapping the business model and training program for replicable forestry and perennial crop enterprises.

During the Afforestation Entrepreneurship Day – Afforestt and OSE are joining forces to open-source 3 afforestation business models. First is the owner operator model designed for a small business. Second is the workshop model, where immersion training workshops are held to do both an install and to train prospective afforestation entrepreneurs. Third is a larger Afforestation Hub designed as a federation of open source entrereneurs who can handle larger afforestation projects with more complex logistics.

The intent of the workshopis to push the limits of perhaps the most conscious and conspicuously productive effort that any human can undertake: planting trees.

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Workshop immersion involves concept and practice, and includes a crash course on the Miyawaki Method, OSE’s machines and Extreme Build concepts, and Afforestt’s vision for afforestation as a new industry. Participants become engaged in a part of OSE’s development process, where we produce open source blueprints for the infrastructures of civilization. Participants are introduced to basic principles of collaborative literacy – how the collaborative mindset can be used to solve wicked problems. This specific workshop will use Open Source Ecology’s open source Tractor, Backhoe, and MicroTractor – 3 of the 50 machines of the Global Village Construction Set.

This workshop is intended for people interested in immersion, hands-on skills training and practical results. This immersion course may be especially useful to people who would like to master their own livelihood as responsible stewards of the land. We are especially seeking participants with an entrepreneurial mindset to expand the afforestation movement far beyond the work of OSE and Afforestt alone.

We are inviting those individuals who are interested in planting micro-forests or taking on bigger afforestation projects – which can be applied on any scale from 1000 square feet and up. We are also explicitly calling out social entrepreneurs interested in starting afforestation enterprises. OSE’s and Afforestt’s goal is to create open, collaborative, ethical enterprise ecosystems. OSE is particularly interested in developing open Working Teams and Open Source Consortia for bringing regenerative enterprise into the marketplace. Afforestt is interested in creating a platform that makes it easy for afforestation to happen, while being financially self-sufficient so afforestation has a chance to scale. To help spread this work, we are also inviting dedicated documenters and videographers to participate in the documentation track of the event.

The overall workshop is designed for people interested in transitioning from Zero to Steward and Maker. We welcome both complete novices and those with experience, as those with experience will also learn a number of skills. The critical part is willingness to learn. There are 3 tracks offered in this workshop:

  • Weekend Immersion Workshop (Sep 4-6): Learn, Plant, and Get Skills.
  • Enterprise Track (Sep 4): Step up to the social enterprise aspects of afforestation.
  • Documentation Track (Sep 4-6): Document for replicability.

The Enterprise Track is designed specifically for those who are considering starting an afforestation enterprise. The documentation track involves people who do not participate in the activities, but take notes, pictures, video, and b-roll – and should have their own video camera. The documentation is intended to be used for instructional guides and videos to spread the knowledge.

As a bonus, we are also screening a pre-release of a documentary film on one of OSE’s collaborations on the tractor and urban gardening – Reversing the Mississippi.

Have questions? Drop us an email: info at opensourceecology dot org


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  • Shubhendu Sharma – Eco-entrepreneur Shubhendu Sharma — and his company, Afforestt — create afforestation methods that make it easy to plant maintenance-free, wild and biodiverse forests. Shubhendu is a TED Fellow and Ashoka Fellow, dedicated to restoring the world’s wild and highly biodiverse forests using specialized afforestation methodology, research, and cutting-edge technologies. He is interested in creating not only individual forests, but also in creating an entire new afforestation industry. See Afforestt in the Press.
  • Marcin Jakubowski was trained as a fusion physicist. He left academia right after finishing his Ph.D. to start a farm – in Missouri. For the last 7 years, he has been working on the Global Village Construction Set – a set of enabling tools and machines for building regenerative infrastructures. Marcin is passionate about creating the Open Source Economy – a new operating system for Earth. See Marcin’s bio.

Learning Outcomes

Afforestation Enterprise
  • The afforestation business model basics
  • The integrated, end-to-end business model
  • The business model for giving away your business model freely
  • Bootstrapped Afforestt enterprise, its economics, and learnings
  • Afforestt Business Model and Operations Plan
  • The elements of a successful Operations Manual for an afforestation enterprise
  • The owner-operator afforestation enterprise model
  • The Afforestation Hub enterprise model
  • Extreme Production workshop model for afforestation
  • Supply chain and plant stock issues
  • Basics of Collaborative Literacy and working openly
  • Challenges of running an afforestation enterprise and how to address them
Afforestation Practice
  • Miyawaki afforestation methodology, potential natural vegetation
  • Forest succession and the evolution of forestry
  • Other afforestation methodologies
  • The advantages of the Miyawaki method
  • Three-dimensional design of forests
  • The complete process of designing, planting, and maintaining a Miyawaki method forest
  • Importance of native species and how to research what the native species are
  • Natural selection in forests
  • Forest biomes in different parts of the world and considerations for each type
  • Different types of forests and their uses
  • Strategies to increase biodiversity
  • Creating food forests for agricultural production and conservation
  • How to select, source, and grow saplings
  • Soil testing, preparation, and amendment
  • Fundamentals of healthy soil
  • Hands-on planting of trees and mulching
  • Watering, water retention, and water production with trees
  • Documentation using real-time video uploads, pictures, and social media
  • Basics of Collaborative Literacy and working openly

Afforest Workshop Announcement Draft


Note: schedule is being refined and may change slightly.

Day 1 – Enterprise
  • 8AM: OSE and Afforestt Introduction
  • 9AM: The Afforestt business model
  • 10AM: Effective Management and Project Execution
  • 11AM: Economic Analysis
  • 12PM: Lunch
  • 1PM: Different types of afforestation enterprises
  • 2PM: Creating an Open Source Operations Manual for Afforestry.
  • 3PM: Collaborative enterprise: Federation of Open Source Entrepreneurs
  • 4PM: Afforestation as an Industry: The Afforestation Incubator: Training infrastructure for Startups
  • 5PM: Dinner
  • 6:30: Infrastructure for Replication: Training, Internet, and Open Source Consortium
  • 7:30-8:30PM: Discussion and Feedback
Day 2 – Introduction , Crash Courses, and Beginning of Planting
  • Morning: Introduction to OSE and Afforestt Methodologies and Practices
  • 12PM-1PM: Lunch
  • Afternoon: Preparation of Site and Soil
  • 5-6:30: Dinner
  • 6:30-7:30: Site Prep Completion and Data Collection
  • 7:30-9PM: Movie Night Bonus – Reversing the Mississippi – a pre-release screening of a documentary on the collaboration and tractor build with OSE and the Our School at Blair Grocery projects.
Day 3 – Planting Day
  • 8AM: Morning Session. Planting.
  • 12PM: Lunch
  • 1-5PM: Afternoon Session. Finishing, documentation, and monitoring.
  • 5-5:30: Site Cleanup
  • 5:30-6:30: Dinner
  • 6:30-7:30PM: Closing and Discussion


Registration Fee for 2-day Workshop: $400

Registration Fee for 3-day Afforestation Workshop including Enterprise Day: $600

Registration Fee for 1-day Enterprise Day: $300

Registration Fee for Documentation Track (3 days): $400

Sponsor another participant: Sponsor $600 or $400 to fund attendance of someone who is on the waiting list for financial assistance.

Discounts for Students and Low Income Individuals: If you are a student or in need, your cost is 50% off for any of the options. If this is still beyond your means, we can consider Work Exchange, where you stay an extra day to help with site preparation and cleanup. You pay a deep discounted rate. Email us for details.

2-for-1 Discounts: Bring a family member or friend with you for free.

Group Rate: If you can bring a group of 3 or more people including you – we can give you a discount.

True Fans of OSE: As supporting members of OSE, True Fans receive a 25% discount on all of our workshops – on top of the discounts above. You can sign up as a True Fan now to become eligible for the True Fans discount on future workshops.

Donate to OSE: We are a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 status. You can make tax-deductible contributions to us.

Workshop fee includes workshop tuition. We can pick you up from the airport, Kansas City International (about an hour away). Participants may secure a hotel in Cameron, Missouri, (15 miles away). Participants are also welcome to camp at Factor e Farm. We have a camping location which includes a composting toilet. Showers and a bathroom are located in our main house, HabLab. Meals will be done as a combination of catered dinner and potluck lunch. For lunch – bring your own or bring some to share. OSE will provide continental breakfast and make-your-own sandwiches for lunch. A kitchen is available for basic food preparation. We also have a swimming pool that is open during daylight hours for relaxation.

Payment Options: PayPal, Credit Card, Dwolla, Bitcoin, Check, Money Order, or Cash

Registration for the choices above is found on Eventbrite, but Eventbrite accepts only PayPal or Credit Card. If you would like to pay by other means you can select that option at Eventbrite, but then you have to submit your payment independently of Eventbrite. We accept Dwolla, Bitcoin, Check, Money Order, or Cash. Your registration will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. Please make checks payable to Open Source Ecology. Our mailing address is OSE, 909 SW Willow Rd, Maysville, MO 64469. For mailings, please write “Gasifier Workshop” along with number of days on your instrument of payment.

Cancellation Policy
If for any reason you can’t attend a workshop you registered for we will be happy to (a) transfer you credit towards another Gasifier workshop in the future; (b) or equivalent credit towards any other other OSE workshop; (c) substitute the name on your ticket and have a friend take your place.

Pay with Dwolla

Dwolla charges lower transaction costs than PayPal. If you are paying by Dwolla, register at Eventbrite and select the Dwolla option, then pay independently via Dwolla (Dwolla is not currently integrated into Eventbrite). Use Open Source Ecology or as the Dwolla recipient.

Pay with Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a decentralized payment system. You can pay via bitcoin for your particular choice via a bitcoin amount translated by the current bitcoin exchange rate on the day that you register. OSE’s Bitcoin Address is 166yC48RakrZdtsBj36vY9q29CpzknHbxY

Pay with Paypal / Credit Card

To pay with paypal/credit card, please use the the Eventbrite form below. Eventbrite charges a 6% fee on top of the ticket price.


  1. Father John Anthony

    I emailed you all a couple days ago but I am not sure my message sent properly. I am on SSDI and only receive $986 a month. None of our priests receive a salary and we serve the poorest of the poor so we don’t really have collections either. I want to do work Exchange. I might get paid early but I will definitely have my fee on 9/1. Will that be too late to pay? Could you please call me at 614.917.3337 and let me know because I don’t want to miss this conference. I will email the open-source email address as well please pardon any redundancy this may cause.

  2. planting a forest « Factor e Farm

    […] 2015 Afforestt workshop. Photo by Stefania […]

  3. sadanand balsaver

    Am a retired person 58 years old and the area I stay in is devoid of trees. Wish I could learn your technology and create a forest in short span of 2 years. Let me know how to proceed.

  4. Rita Budhraja

    Do you hold workshops in India? I live in The city of Pune in Maharashtra State India. Our state is undergoing a severe drought so would like to Participate and learn .We need to get a Programme like yours out to the villages.Hundreds of Farmers have committed suicide.
    I have a 5000 sqft plot of land in the city and would like to afforest 1000 sqfeet as soon as possible.
    Who can I get in touch with?

    1. Marcin

      Yes, contact Afforestt in India. OSE is doing a CEB brick press build this August in India.

    2. Haresh

      Hey Rita, Did you start this initiative. I too stay in Pune & would like to help.