Tuesday, 28 February 2017

UK river catchment GIS maps (online)

Online CaBA GIS Data Package

A selection of national datasets for supporting catchment management planning, which can be filtered by CaBA catchment. ArcGIS Online users can join the CaBA group and easily find the layers to your own maps.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Better greenhouse growing (book)

The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower's Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture

A few dozen large-scale producers dominate the greenhouse produce market. Why? Because they know and employ best practices for the most profitable crops: tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, leafy greens, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens. The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook levels the playing field by revealing these practices so that all growers—large and small—can maximize the potential of their protected growing space. Whether growing in a heated greenhouse or unheated hoophouse, this book offers a decision-making framework for how to best manage crops that goes beyond a list of simple do’s and don’ts.

Futures for environmental education (book)

Envisioning Futures for Environmental and Sustainability Education
invited educational practitioners and theorists to speculate on – and craft visions for – the future of environmental and sustainability education. This volume explores educational methods and practices that might exist on the horizon, waiting for discovery and implementation. Throughout this project, the authors were concerned with how the collective project of imagining alternative futures might help us rethink environmental and sustainability education institutionally, intellectually, and pedagogically. Contributors used emerging modes of critical speculation as a means to map and (re)design the future of environmental and sustainability education today.

Sustaining sustainability education in schools (#journal)

Sustaining education for sustainability in turbulent times 

 A study of two schools in northern Australia demonstrated the impact on Education for Sustainability (EfS) initiatives of a disruptive policy environment set in motion by neoliberal reforms focused on standards, accountability, and international competitiveness. In one of the schools, a culture characterized by trust and an emphasis on cultivating teacher and student strengths and interests contributed to the resilience of these initiatives in the face of outside pressures. In the other, administrators preoccupied with the need to implement state mandates with fidelity failed to nurture and develop a collection of remarkable EfS projects and activities.

Museums as environmental educators (#journal)

Role of museums and botanical gardens in ecosystem services in developing countries: case study and outlook

Unprecedented environmental challenges require new tools. Well-structured museums and botanical gardens in developing countries can play significant roles in research, education, and conservation even when governmental institutions are weak and underfunded. The paper offers a case study of the nascent Palestine Institute of Sustainability and Palestine Museum of Natural History with a botanical garden. The analysis concludes that, despite some limitations and challenges, this is a successful model that should be replicated in other impoverished communities.

Religion and food ethics (book)

Religion and Sustainable Agriculture: World Spiritual Traditions and Food Ethics

Distinct practices of eating are at the heart of many of the world’s faiths —from the Christian Eucharist to Muslim fasting during Ramadan to the vegetarianism of Hinduism and Buddhism. In this wide-ranging collection, eminent scholars, theologians, activists, and farmers illuminate how religious beliefs influence and are influenced by the values and practices of sustainable agriculture. They analyze a multitude of agricultural practices for their contributions to healthy, ethical living and environmental justice. Throughout, the contributors address current critical issues, including global trade agreements, indigenous rights to land and seed, and the effects of postcolonialism on farming and industry. Covering indigenous, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish perspectives, this groundbreaking volume makes a significant contribution to the study of ethics and agriculture.

Open source guilds for small enterprises (#journal)

The open source guild: creating more sustainable enterprise?

The authors developed the open source guild business model, which has the elements of: building a focal micro-business with resources secured through the guild, promoting learning and development through apprenticeship, promoting shared values through a commons of experience and capturing value by protecting key intellectual property. This research was undertaken with two emergent micro-businesses in the North West of England. The open source guild model can be a mechanism for an emergent micro-business to create a community around their values and grow their business without conventional external investment of resources. Further research will be needed to establish the wider applicability of the open source guild model.

Permaculture and Climate Change; book review

In case you missed the book Tom Henfrey and Gil Penha Lopes published on permaculture and climate change adaptation last year, here is a review from a peer reviewed academic journal that tells you how great the book is, and why you should consider adding it to your bookshelf.

Oxford Real Farming Conference 2017 (online)

Oxford Real Farming Conference 2017 is now available online

The ORFC team are pleased to announce that all PowerPoints, audio recordings and films from the 2017 conference are available online and can be found within the ORFC 2017 Archive. Please note: not all speakers created PowerPoints and not all sessions were recorded and so apologies in advance if we do not have the session you are after.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Your cat: another reason to garden organically (online)

Are Your Lawn Care Products Harming Your Cat?

If there is one thing that cats are known for, it is their tendency to prowl around the neighborhood. Unfortunately for our feline friends, an unseen predator lurks in the grass, bushes, and shoes of neighborhoods all across the country: the toxic chemicals that many people spray on their grass. Pesticides, lawn fertilizers, and all of the many chemical products that get soaked into every blade of grass are a major risk factor to cats everywhere, with side effects that have been demonstrated to gravely impact their health.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Permaculture research in Kenya (online)

Permaculture Research Institute Kenya - New Research Programme

PRI Kenya's new Research Programme links closely with their Permaculture and Regenerative Enterprise Programme and aims to map social, environmental and economic impact. They want to understand not only how the permaculture approach is beneficial for the environment and climate change resilience, but also its benefits for farmers in terms of wellbeing, gender dynamics and social empowerment. Their research model focuses on involving farmers as ‘citizen scientists’.  Layering their research just like an agroforestry system, they will also conduct more complex scientific soil tests as well as measuring carbon capture of trees etc.