183: Shawn Jadrnicek on The Bio-Integrated Farm.

Maximizing functions from landscape elements to save time, energy and money.


IMG_2384 Shawn has nourished his interest in sustainability through work as an organic farmer, nursery grower, extension agent, arborist, and landscaper, and now as the manager of Clemson University’s Student Organic Farm. From his earliest permaculture experiments with no-till farming in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California to his highly functional bio-integrated designs in the Southeast, Shawn has learned how to cultivate food in a variety of climates and landscapes. He shares his creative solutions through teaching, consulting, design work and his book The Bio-Integrated Farm:  A Revolutionary Permaculture Based System Using Greenhouses, Ponds, Compost Piles, Aquaponics, Chickens and More – Published by Chelsea Green.

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In this podcast: Greg meets Shawn who explains a key permaculture concept of having multiple functions from one element. Shawn tells how he has designed many projects focusing on elements that have at least seven functions each. With his experience, he has brought together several examples in his new book and so he shares some ideas in this interview.


Listen in and learn about:

  • His early years learning about farming
  • His work as an Extension Agent is at the University
  • How he started doing permaculture design and his goal to have components that have multiple functions
  • Examples of giving multiple functions to different aspects of landscapes
  • How having multiple stacked functions makes less work for the gardener
  • Using Chickens to do more than just obtain eggs
  • The synergy that works on bio-integrated farms
  • Where to start when planning a landscape or farm
  • Using heat from compost piles
  • Some of the other projects in the community that he works with and on
  • Projects for homesteaders
  • What happens to the designs after they are implemented
  • Some designs that he created and what they were like as they developed over time
  • Fresh water prawns in the aquaponics systems
  • Some tips on raising prawns

As well as:

  • His failure – exploring organic no-till with summer crops and failing,
  • His success – the heat extraction techniques they have developed
  • His drive – exploring and doing new things, being more efficient and saving money,
  • His advice – don’t be afraid to try new things and explore, embrace failure, laugh and learn from it

Books written by Shawn:

The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses, Ponds, Compost Piles, Aquaponics, Chickens, and More

Shawn’s Book recommendations:   

Christopher Alexander’s: A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure)

How to reach Shawn:

Website: sjadrnicek@gmail.com

UrbanFarm.org/biointegrated


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