Introduction to Ecosystems – Free online course [...]

Recommended as a solid foundation and good frame of reference (common language) for anyone involved in the ERC (Ecosystem Restoration Camps) project: this course produced by Open University:

In this course you will discover how organisms are linked together by complex interrelationships, how such links are studied and how the physical properties of a particular habitat interact with the organisms that inhabit it. Using case studies, you will come to learn how knowledge of ecosystems leads to understanding of their individual importance, and how they can be preserved. (Source)

It features world-class content by such veteran presenters as David Attenborough and John D. Liu, so you know it will be as entertaining as it is enlightening.

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The Trouble with Permaculture – Resilience [...]

I still get irritated with wide eyed, blue sky thinking permies though, who despite knowing sod all about vegetable growing, come and tell us that we are not doing it “right” in our market garden, because if it’s hard work, it can’t be PC. Apparently, you can design hard work out of gardening; in PC Lala land, all you have to do is wander through your food forest with your mouth open and ripe, juicy fruit will just fall in! Isn’t it exactly because of this desire to grow more food with less effort we ended up with industrial agriculture? And is it maybe also because it became so effortless to grow masses of food, we ended up valuing it so little that we waste tons of it every year? (Source)

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“PermOccupy – A Pathway to a Sustainable Future,” by Killian O\’Brien. Interview on PermOccupy with Killian by Willi Paul. Presented by Planetshifter.com Magazine | www.planetshifter.com [...]

> > Why PermOccupy? … “I should clarify. The name just popped into my head down in the Grand Circus Park the night this whole idea occurred to me. It’s just a simple, perhaps catchy way of getting across the idea of intentionally melding permaculture and Occupy to ramp up the transition to sustainability. (Source)

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“PermOccupy – A Pathway to a Sustainable Future,” by Killian O\’Brien. Interview on PermOccupy with Killian by Willi Paul. Presented by Planetshifter.com Magazine | www.planetshifter.com [...]

“PermOccupy – A Pathway to a Sustainable Future,” by Killian O’Brien. Interview on PermOccupy with Killian by Willi Paul. Presented by Planetshifter.com Magazine

Why PermOccupy? … “I should clarify. The name just popped into my head down in the Grand Circus Park the night this whole idea occurred to me. It’s just a simple, perhaps catchy way of getting across the idea of intentionally melding permaculture and Occupy to ramp up the transition to sustainability. (Source)

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Why George Monbiot is wrong: grazing livestock can save the world | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian [...]

> In his recent interview with Allan Savory, the high profile biologist and farmer who argues that properly managing grazing animals can counter climate chaos, George Monbiot reasonably asks for proof. Where I believe he strays into the unreasonable, is in asserting that there is none.

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Eat more meat and save the world: the latest implausible farming miracle | George Monbiot | Environment | The Guardian [...]

> Here’s another one: a miracle technique that allows us to reconcile our insatiable demand for meat with the need to protect the living planet. Better still, it proposes, eating meat could actually save the biosphere. A TED talk which makes this claim has been viewed 2.6m times.

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Agricultural Regeneration of Mediterranean Landscapes – A Wikity Site [...]

javascript:q=location.href;if(document.getSelection)%7Bd=document.getSelection();%7Delse%7Bd=”;%7D;p=document.title;void(open(‘http://agremed.wikity.cc/?sourceurl=’+encodeURIComponent(q)+’&selection=’+encodeURIComponent(d)+’&title=’+encodeURIComponent(p),’Wikity’,’toolbar=no,width=700,height=500′));

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Why Wool? | The Wool Room [...]

Because mother nature invented the perfect solution to all these problems that plague synthetic solutions to the problem of clothing -good luck trying to one-up her by synthetic means! From “The Wool Room,” here are but a few of the benefits:

It’s cool when it’s hot, and warm when it’s not!
Wool is a natural insulator to keep you warm in winter and naturally breathable to keep you cool in summer. Wool fibre helps to keep your body at the optimal temperature zone for comfort and rest. When used in blankets, synthetic fibres, down and even cotton fibres do not breathe as well as wool, and are more likely to trap heat in your bed. Wool buffers the extreme cold or hot air on the outside, keeping your body in the ideal comfort zone. Baa-rilliant!

It’s naturally absorbent!
Wool fibre is the original wicking fibre. Wool fabrics can absorb up to 30% of their weight without feeling heavy or damp. Cotton fabrics begin to feel damp after 15%. The fibres “breathe” by absorbing away moisture from the body and releasing it into the air. This quality makes wool fabrics comfortable to wear in warm and cold weather.

It resists Mildew and Mold, naturally!
Wool’s natural resistance to mildews and moulds comes from the way it repels moisture, and lets moisture pass through it’s fibres without trapping it. Mildews and moulds require moisture to live and grow (Source)

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Permaculture | Vale da Lama Farm [...]

Further to an article in this issue of “Permaculture Magazine” (see PM#91, Spring 2017, article “Regenerative Farming” by Walt Ludwick), this page is to elaborate on some of the topics merely touched-on in that article, not necessarily known to all “Permies”, such as:

  • Ecological tools: like HugelKultur, Holstic Planned Grazing, AgroEcology;
  • Economic tools, such as Business Model Canvas, CSA, Holistic Management;
  • Cultural tools: DragonDreaming, Sociocracy, Holacracy, S3, WorldCafé, Forum. (Source)

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AgReMed.net [...]

Nascent network in early stages of formation. Future site location at:

AgReMed.net logo

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Savory Network, Portugal Node [...]

There is a movement afoot to establish in Portugal a node in the Savory Institute Global Network.

Should be more info arising out of Skype chat scheduled for next Wednesday (2017.02.15) at 22h CET.

(FB chat excerpts appended below, for extraction of relevant links)


Hugo
Last summer I went to the paleo convention where I met Christopher. He, together with some other speakers, was part of the “paleo and sustainabily” panel. Presentations where mainly focused on the role of grazing and holistic management in the creation of an healthy and sustainable ecosystem. We had a nice talk and Christopher told me about his interest in the potential that Portugal could have concerning holistic management. I have this feeling that there is a potential group for the setting of a Savory Hub, but more than that, a group that is in its way of applying animal base food sustainability.

I’m writing you all because I believe there could be a good synergy coming out of this conversation.!

Gena
As you know Hugo, my husband and I have a dairy farm that we’re attempting to convert into a raw milk, real foods dairy farm while practicing holistic land management. You can count me in in future exchanges about the subject! Looking forward to what might come of such conversations.
Glad to hear this, Hugo, didn’t know you had this interest. I guess you also know we are practicing Holistic Pasture Management in Vale da Lama; just hosted a course on the subject, as it happens, with some 20 participants. Should they be invited, I wonder?
Julia has the list, I believe.

Gena
Hi Walt…would you be willing to post a link to your FB page if you have one? I’d like to follow what you are doing and be informed of any future courses you might host.
Hi Gena. Will do when I get back to my desk, am mobile this afternoon.

Julia
At the seminar I met Jose and his mother. They have a huge farm (cattle) in the western Algarve, and I think there’s some interest in running it ‘better’. I went to visit it the other day, but unfortunately the mum wasn’t there- she’s running it currently. I feel Jose is very interested in the regenerative aspect, but not so much in the food side of it, as he’s (still;)) a vegetarian – (give me some time ;)). Anyway, the farm would offer a fantastic opportunity to establish a Savory Hub here in Portugal, and I may just contact the Institute to ask for some guidance. XJ

@julia: sounds good… But can you provide any more insight as to what Savory Hub means, in practical terms?

@Gena: FB page for our farm is https://www.facebook.com/valedalama/
Vale da Lama
Quinta de Permacultura – Programas Educativos – Casa Vale da Lama Eco Resort – Sweet Spot Café & Loja da Quinta – Eventos

Christopher
this is a hub….www.3LM.network
@Gena: and your farm, can you say more about where it is at?
thanks for that, @Christopher. Are you affiliated with that hub? a HM trainer? Savory-certified? (i don’t know anything about all this, obviously; just took a short course with Kirk Gadzia at La Donaira ES few years ago)

Christopher
Hi Yes. We run the UK Hub and yes I am an Accredited Professional with Savory Institute. Here is a document that tells the story…https://www.dropbox.com/s/aylf1cn35grhvkw/3LM%20Strategy%20REVIEW%2020th%20Nov%202016%20VSN%201.3.pptx?dl=0

Christopher
Its interesting in that I am not sure how I came to be on this conversation – but please fire any more questions that you might have. It seems that I met Hugo last year at the Paleo event… Well done Hugo for linking me in to this chat. As for what is possible with HM – Simply put this work is applicable in all contexts not just agriculture – we work across the whole supply ecology and we use HM as the Management Framework that can handle the complexity – The Policy Setting approach is superb and we are learning day by day just how elegantly simple this work is. What led me to Savory was the quest for methods that can handle complexity and also to enable me to practically address the issue of poor nutrition – the running of the hub is our contribution to the planet. We are having great fun in this process. Our other web site www.5deep.net offers some insight into what led us to Savory. (One of the earlier blogs). Best to you all and gratitude.
5 Deep Home – 5 Deep
At 5 Deep we work with you when you know something needs to change, but you are not sure what to do about it, or where to turn for help.
5deep.net

Gena
Our farm is located on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, Portugal. Here’s a link to our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Farm-261718987505555/
The Farm
We offer raw milk & pasture-fed beef through cow shares. Come take a farm tour & milk our cows, feed calves, & taste our raw milk & fresh cheese!

Christopher
Gena, Im very focused on this issue of the conversion of intensive dairy to a standard beyond organic. In Australia in 2009 this was a big issue and farmers survived by letting go of agro-chem and making a move towards Biological Standards. I led an organisation that showed how to recover and regenerate. Our UK Hub still has contact with the team in Australia with whom we liaise regularly. I am just starting a large project here that will demonstrate such transitions across the UK. Best regards. Christopher

Your work is quite inspiring, @Christopher. If we could get any number of farm owners together in this part of the world, following your example to better manage our lands and food supply in a more regenerative way, that would be a great accomplishment.

Christopher
Gena, Portugal needs a hub too!
It would be fun to do this in Portugal!

Ah, Azores… i should have known. No dairy operations in this brittle climate of S-mainland PT.
Extensive grazing operations here are all about beef and lamb.

Christopher
Also – we are developing land partnership approaches – which links closely to what you are doing. Remember also that Brittle environments respond best to the use of livestock as a tool! If we need a chat lets do so – small group on skype later this week? Best regards. Christopher

Julia
Christopher, this is very interesting! I’m considering becoming an acredited professional, and would love to hear more from you, so yes to the chat. Thanks, XJ

Gustavo
Hello everyone, I’m glad to see so much enthusiasm! Currently I am taking the HM online, as I want to follow this path, and to eventually to become a trainer on HM (I have been working on education for human rights and I really feel that ecosystem regeneration through livestock management is one sure strategy to address the ecological, social and economical issues in Portugal – and elsewhere. And I want to actively contribute with my skills as an educator towards this goal) So this is why I am in this chat

Christopher
For your information – we are running 8 day accreditation course in the UK – the next is in May. The 8 Day intensive, plus the online module – (all 5), plus a practical implementation on a site, plus an exit interview is the requirement to become an Accredited Professional. What is interesting is that the event in May is being hosted on a Scottish Island by a former large scale commercial farmer who made the change about 15 years ago. He now runs an island ‘oasis’. He is also our self appointed farming spokesperson. Here is the link – to show you what’s on offer. We do have people from Cyprus considering also. What an amazing time! http://3lm.network/events/list/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=listhttp://3lm.network/events/list/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=list
Events Archive – 3LM – Land and Livestock Management for Life
We are offering a 10-Month Comprehensive Holistic Management Training Programme at Fernhill Farm near Bristol. Enroll for just the foundations programme in March, or enroll in all 5 modules: Foundation of Holistic Management, Holistic Planned Grazing, Ecological Monitoring, Holistic Financial Planni…
3lm.network

Question @Christopher, re Cypress ref above: you mean folks from Cypress are interested in the Scotland course? or interested to host a course in Cypress?

Christopher
At present we are waiting to find out if the Cyprus team will come to Scotland for the 8 day training. I will have an update later this week. Obviously – allowing for language we can train anywhere in the world – especially as we are part of the create additional hubs mission!!

Christopher
Hi everyone – Im sorry I was on another conference call. Yes I can do Wednesday but it will have to be earlier or later – I have another call at 20.00 UK (21.oohrs CET) so can do anything before say 20.00 CET to 20.55 CET or 22-23hrs CET or even later! 🙂 Please discuss amongst yourselves and let me know the time – I have booked out the whole evening just in case! ALSO PLEASE LET ME HAVE ANY QUESTIONS BEFORE HAND SO THAT I CAN PREPARE A CONGRUENT AND MEANINGFUL STORY / PROCESS. In the mean time here is a link that explains the global hub network…of which we in the British Isles were number 14! Seems a lifetime ago and our lives have changed beyond all recognition – My Wife Sheila was a Vegan when we started!! Now as long as quality is known and nutrition is the key we have a flexitarian lifestyle. Gratitude to you all. best Christopher http://savory.global/network
Holistic Training – Farm Planning & Holistic Grazing | Savory
Here at The Savory Institute we offer professional holistic training, educational programs and farm planning to assist you and your land in becoming a Holistic Grazing farm. Call (303)327-9760 and start your courses today.
savory.global

Christopher
OK It seems that the questions you all pose will keep us awake! best regards. 22 CET is I believe the time. Best Christopher

Julia
Christoph, should we maybe send you a quick intro into who we are and our questions to an email address?

Gena
Hugo, I’m assuming you’re referring to Alfredo from Herdade do Freixe do Meio. If so, would you like me to send you his cell number?

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Camping as a Practical Solution – Ecosystem Restoration Camps [...]

Exciting new opportunity in the field of “VolunTourism”:

The challenge:
Why we are restoring degraded landscapes in the Altiplano of Spain (Source)

Initiative launched by John D. Liu -documentary filmmaker of “Green Gold” fame- via Facebook (Source)

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The Negative Impact of Solutes on Water Potential [...]

Chorus Title: What is solute potential?

Response Title: It’s the Negative Impact of Solutes on Water Potential

I know, fascinating right? But there are a couple of things to note here.

Other explanations of solute potential often mention that “osmosis wants to equalize the saltiness” on two sides of a membrane. But when we say “want” in terms of physical processes, we are talking about physical mechanisms, not desires.

So let’s start with an observed phenomenon:

Here’s a beaker with a semi-permeable membrane. In this first picture, there are two equally full sides of the beaker, but one has saltier water on one side than the other. (We use salt here, but it could be other solutes as well).

Now what happens? Seriously, think about it for a minute. You leave this glass overnight, go to sleep, and come back in the morning: what do you see?

If you’re like most people, you probably think you see a beaker that looks just like the one above, but with the saltiness “averaged out”.

But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. Because here is what you’d find on your counter:

You’ll notice that the saltiness on each side of the membrane is equal, but this has been achieved by moving water, not salt molecules.

The reason for this is simple. For this semi-permeable membrane, water molecules can cross it, but the solute particles, which are larger and polar, cannot. As water molecules pass freely between the two sides, some of them bind to the solute, and are unable to pass back through the membrane. See this animation to see how that happens:

First, pure water (no solutes) has a solute potential (Ψπ) of zero. Solutes reduce water’s potential, limiting the ability of the solution to flow through a membrane.

Solute concentration relates to solute potential according to the given by the Van’t Hoff Equation:

Ψπ = − miRT

where m is the concentration in molarity of the solute, i is the Van’t Hoff factor, the ionization constant of the solute (1 for glucose, 2 for NaCl, etc.) R is the ideal gas constant, and T is the temperature.

The more solute molecules present in the , the more negative the solute potential is.

Solute potential has important implication for many living organisms. If a living cell with a lower solute concentration is surrounded by a concentrated solution, the cell will tend to lose water to the more negative water potential of the surrounding environment.

You can demonstrate this process in your kitchen using common eggs dropped in a hypertonic solution such as corn syrup:

Credits

Pieces of this explanation come from Wikipedia.

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Farmers\’ Handbook – The Permaculture Research Institute [...]

The links to follow are to individual chapters of a Farmers’ Handbook created by Chris Evans (UK) and Jakob Jespersen (Denmark), who have spent considerable time in Nepal, helping to develop locally appropriate methods and technologies that can help the people of Nepal live better lives, and sustainably so.

Although the information is specifically tailored for Himalayan conditions, almost everyone will find some useful ideas and information in this comprehensive work. The whole handbook is 50 chapters in 5 volumes – a total of 792 pages, including 170 pages of colour photos and illustrations. (Source)

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Why Whole Foods is now struggling – The Washington Post [...]

Organic food has never been so popular among American consumers. Ironically, that’s bad news for the brand that made organic a household name — namely, the Austin-based Whole Foods. (Source)

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