Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Permaculture makes women's live abundant (#journal)

Permaculture: Tools for Making Women’s Lives More Abundant

Permaculture is primarily a thinking tool for designing low carbon, highly productive systems. It was conceived as a response to the devastating effects of a temperate European agriculture on the fragile soils of Australia. Like the dust bowls of the USA, an alien agriculture has the capacity to turn a delicately balanced ecology into desert. Their initial response was to design a permanent agriculture with tree crops and other perennials inhabiting all the niches from the canopy to the ground cover and below. From perennial tree crops, permaculture has developed into an integrated system of design that encompasses everything from agriculture, horticulture, architecture, and ecology, as well as economy and legal systems for businesses and communities.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Social movements in agroecology (video)

Agroecology: Voices From Social Movements 

 This video explores the different perspectives of food providers on agroecology and the calls from social movements to embed agroecoogy in the struggle for food sovereignty. It focuses on the International Declaration for Food Sovereignty which has been advanced by social movements to claim agroecology as a bottom up practice, science and movement and the most important pathway towards a most just, sustainable and viable food and agriculture system. Visit: http://www.foodsovereignty.org/forum-... to read the declaration and www.agroecologynow.com for more information on this project.

TED talk - agroecology (video)

Pablo Tittonell - Feeding the world with Agroecology - TEDxEde 2014 

 Pablo Tittonell is professor of 'Farming Systems Ecology' at Wageningen University and one of the worlds most famous experts in the field of agriculture and ecology. He advocates intensification of agriculture by making optimal use of natural processes and the landscape to meet the worlds growing demand for food.


Reforming Europe's CAP (video)

Agroecology: how to make the very best of Europe's CAP

The Common Agricultural Policy shapes how Europe produces food, but in many ways its no longer fit for purpose. In this video, Arc2020 and Friends of the Earth Europe spotlight the options and opportunities in the CAP for choosing farming methods which are good for people and the planet - the living world. Practical examples ar ealso highlighted, as are emergent communities of practice around agroecology.

Agroecology in China (journal)

Advancing agroecology in China

Editorial on the role of agroecology in developing sustainable food systems in China. Provides outline of reccommendations from the International Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in China.

The case for regenerative agriculture (#journal)

 The imperative for regenerative agriculture

A review is made of the current state of agriculture, emphasising soil erosion and dependence on fossil fuels. Soil has been described as "the fragile, living skin of the Earth", and yet both its aliveness and fragility have too often been ignored. Regenerative agriculture has at its core the intention to improve the health of soil or to restore highly degraded soil, which symbiotically enhances the quality of water, vegetation and land-productivity. By using methods of regenerative agriculture, it is possible not only to increase the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) in existing soils, but to build new soil. This has the effect of drawing down carbon from the atmosphere, while simultaneously improving soil structure and soil health, soil fertility and crop yields, water retention and aquifer recharge.

Climate justice and climate solutions (podcasts)

Tipping Point - a podcast on climate justice in the Anthropocene

In this series of podcasts, we explore pathways for climate justice in the Anthropocene - a geological epoch shaped by humans. Should we become stewards of our planet or live in harmony with nature to achieve a good life for all? We take our listeners on a journey to find out how we can reach the Paris goals. Through the lens of activists, experts, and scientists around the world, we reflect on this exciting challenge and explore paths that might lead us into a better future.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Mycorrhiza for plant health and soil fertility (book)

Mycorrhizal Planet. How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility
Mycorrhizal fungi partner with the root systems of approximately 95 percent of the plants on Earth, and they sequester carbon in much more meaningful ways than human “carbon offsets” will ever achieve. Pick up a handful of old-growth forest soil and you are holding 26 miles of threadlike fungal mycelia. Most of these soil fungi are mycorrhizal, supporting plant health in elegant and sophisticated ways. A profound intelligence exists in the underground nutrient exchange between fungi and plant roots, which in turn determines the nutrient density of the foods we grow and eat. The real impetus behind no-till farming, mulch, cover cropping, digging with broadforks, shallow cultivation, forest-edge orcharding, and everything related to permaculture is to help the plants and fungi to prosper . . . which means we prosper as well. Mycorrhizal Planet abounds with insights into “fungal consciousness” and offers practical, regenerative techniques that are pertinent to gardeners, landscapers, orchardists, foresters, and farmers.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Grow better tomatoes (online)

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Tomatoes


Here's something different from what I usually feature; a guide to growing your own tomatoes! Right now is the prefect time for planting your tomato seeds, so I thought this might inspire some of you to give this delicious vegetable a go...or maybe improve your yield if you are already growing them. (P.S. For anyone who thinks a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable, it is in fact both a vegetable (in culinary terminology) AND a fruit (in botanical terminology)).

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Graham Bell's research - amazing! (online)

Garden Cottage Research

After twenty eight years managing our own site in the Scottish Borders, we have acquired considerable knowledge. The topics are:

The garden yields a massive amount of produce. We have kept detailed records of yield since 2011 and these are shared here.
As much as possible the forest garden at Garden Cottage is a closed system. Here you can see to what extent we are self reliant. This section is still a work in progress.
Garden Cottage is our home as well as Scotland’s leading Forest Garden and the longest established intentional food forest garden in the UK, and we are delighted to welcome visitors to share it with us.
We have been running a Visitors’ Book for a number of years now. Five themes from the New Economics Foundation are used to interpret what Visitors say.


Resilience and community action (book)

Resilience, Community Action and Societal Transformation 

A unique collection bridging research, theory and practical action to create more resilient societies. It includes accounts from people and organisations at the front line of efforts to build community resilience, cutting edge theory and analysis from engaged scholar-activists, and commentary from sympathetic researchers. Its content ranges from first hand accounts of the Transition Movement in the UK, Canada and Spain, theoretical reflections on resilience theory from Transition Network, challenges to accepted ideas of resilience in politics and sustainability, the shifts in mindsets and perspectives required for transition, and post-colonial perspectives on Transition. The book is the second in the Community-Led Transformations  series (following Permaculture and Climate Change Adaptation in late 2015), an ongoing partnership between ECOLISE and Permanent Publications.