the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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restorative agroforestry proposed as a solution to climate change related forest fires.

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credit: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Forest fires have become an increasingly significant issue in the last decade and it seems as though nowhere is safe from the death and destruction that they bring. Few places have to contend with fires on a large a scale as Portugal. The fires this year killed 64 people and destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of forest and farmland.

In addition to climate change, one of the major issues in Portugal is urbanisation. In recent decades populations who once inhabited the land have been moving to urban areas in search of work, abandoning their land. This has lead to a lack of maintenance and an abundance of undergrowth which is in turn more vulnerable to these all consuming fires.

“This was an area where families had their small properties and they lived off the land. That ended in the 1970s, they left, and the owners of the land now live in the cities…The landscape we now have is the result of abandonment.”

– Antonio Louro, deputy mayor of Macao

Forest fires in Portugal account for a disproportionate amount of the total number in Europe. Despite accounting for less than 3% of the EU population, this year Portugal had to contend with 40% of the forest fires.  Louro, the architect of land reforms in the area has proposed a novel solution to the problems in the region – namely ‘village companies’ that practice shared land management of abandoned land. This would see the reintroduction of native crops such as citrus trees and olives and the profits generated would be shared among the community.

It is so wonderful and inspiring to see innovative solutions take hold and gain traction in the face of environmental and social catastrophes. To read the full article, click HERE.


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cool free upcoming restorative agriculture field days in the midwest!

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credit: Savanna Institute

The Savanna Institute is running two free restorative agriculture field days in Wisconsin this month and next. Everybody is welcome and attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about agroforestry first-hand from farmers and researchers who work with perennial crop and livestock enterprises. The first of the two is on September 8th and the second is October 4th.

 

 September 8th @ 1 pm 

Feral Farm & Glacierland RC&D,
N2437 Brattset Lane,
Jefferson, WI

Agroforestry & Long-Term Leases:

Feral Farm grows a diversity of tree crops in polyculture rows with hay alley cropped between, with an increasing emphasis on chestnuts. It is made possible by a unique long-term land access arrangement with Brattsett Family Farm, a grass-fed beef farm. Both farm operations have learned a lot about working collaboratively between an established farmer and a beginning one.

 

October 4 @ 9:30 am

Green Fire Farm,

N5305 Ringhand Road,
Monticello, WI

Silvopasture Establishment with Pastured Pigs, Adaptive Grazing

Join Jacob and nonprofit, extension, and agency personnel, for a field day highlighting how a conventional row crop operation is transitioning to multi-species pasture systems. We’ll talk about silvopasture establishment research, cost-share opportunities, techniques to extend the grazing season, and mentorship programs. Come see pigs and sheep rotationally graze in their two-year old silvopasture planting, a beef herd grass-finishing on fall interseeded annuals, a production flock of pastured laying hens, and a rainfall and erosion simulator.


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agroforestry in practice training

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Cornell Small Farms Programme are running a three day Agroforestry in Practice training course that will take place from October 17th – 19th, 2017 at the Schuyler County Cooperative Extension at Montour Falls NY.

Agroforestry is the science and art of combining trees and forests with crop production. It is a topic of great interest to many landowners and farmers and offers many promising enterprises including maple syrup, log mushroom cultivation, silvopasture (combining trees and livestock) and others.

Agroforestry has been established as one of the most reliable and promising uses of land in terms of economic return and environmental sustainability and health. The 3 day course is designed specifically with service providers in mind and offers a combination of both classroom time and field experience in established agroforestry farms.

The list of farms on the agenda right now are fantastic and will be sure to give a diverse overview of the possibilities of agroforestry. They include but are not limited to a 300 acre cattle grazing and silvopasture system, a farm that grows shiitake mushrooms and maple syrup combined with sheep and duck silvopasture and two farms that focus on orchard alley cropping and animal integration.

To register for this fantastic course or for more information click HERE

 


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workshop: regenerative agroforestry in hawaii.

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Hawaii based Agroforestry Net and FARM Centre are teaming up to offer the Aloha Syntropica-Regenerative Agroforestry Workshop series in Hawi, North Kohala, Hawaii from August 20th to 31st, 2017. The workshops are designed to immerse farmers in regenerative agroforestry and will include personal training in the theory and practice of planning, planting and managing diverse food forests in a way that is both ecologically and economically sustainable.
Rodale Institute’s 2014 report on regenerative organic agriculture and climate change confirms the value of the work, “Changing farming practices to organic, regenerative and agro-ecological systems can… improve farm profitability and revitalize traditional farming communities while ensuring biodiversity and resilience of ecosystem services.”
Costs:
August 20–25, 2017—Part 1: $1195 ($1075 before July 7)
August 27–31, 2017—Part 2*: $1195 ($1075 before July 7)
Parts 1 & 2: $1995 ($1795 before July 7)
10% early registration discount for payment before July 7
To find out more about this workshop and to register click HERE


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edible agroforestry design templates!

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These design templates are meant to be implemented on common landscapes. While they use temperate climate species that grow in the northern hemisphere (hardiness zones 4-7), documentation about underlying patterns is provided so substitutions can be made for different growing conditions and desired yields. Check out this awesome and exciting PDF to learn more!