Welcome to 
The Piedmont EarthWorks!

The Piedmont Earthworks is an ecological restoration research and management institution headquartered in Briery Creek Forest near Charlottesville, Virginia.

We are experimenting with a number of novel combinations of techniques to restore ecosystem functions and services at the landscape level. These include natural selection forest thinning, controlled burning, ecological grazing by sheep and goats, beaver meadow wetland restoration, soil building with biochar, composted manure and municipal biosolids and coppicing of understory woody growth for use as fuel and forage.

The research site is private and tours are available by appointment only. 

Please contact: cfj@piedmontearthworks.com 
for more information.

About Us                                        
Chris Fields-Johnson
Chris graduated Summa Cum Laude from Virginia Tech in Forestry and received his Master of Science in soils and land reforestation on Appalachian surface mined lands.  He is a doctoral candidate in soil restoration with a focus on re-creating Terra preta soils using biochar. He is also a certified arborist and controlled burn manager.
June 22nd, 2016
​     Summer begins with some key changes for The Piedmont Earthworks. This will be the last spring and summer when we will offer public programs such as Community Caretaking and the Passages Adventure Camp sessions. We are also moving the herd into having mostly Katahdin hair sheep while raising mostly Guinea fowl and Bobwhite quail on the bird side. The springtime brought the development of a new pit method for producing biochar and a new system for building up soils around the central farm area with animal manure and wood chips. Currently, we are marking trees for the next round of commercial thinning and are continuing to build a network of fire breaks and fence paths for management of controlled burns and ecological grazing patterns. The Briery Creek property will remain open to family and friends for private functions and camp-outs after August, just call Chris!

Winter Silvopasture
November 2014 Controlled Burn