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

posted October 9, 2017

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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.


thinking like a commoner

posted March 6, 2017

think like a commoner, greenhorns

If you’ve not heard of David Bollier, now is as good a time as ever.

Bollier is an author, activist and blogger that spends a lot of time researching and thinking about the commons. He has written a number of excellent books looking at ways in which economies and communities can transition to commons based systems.

From his latest book Think Like a Commoner:

 In our age of predatory markets and make-believe democracy, our troubled political institutions have lost sight of real people and practical realities. But if you look to the edges, ordinary people are reinventing governance and provisioning on their own terms. The commons is arising as a serious, practical alternative to the corrupt Market/State.

The beauty of commons is that we can build them ourselves, right now. But the bigger challenge is, Can we learn to see the commons and, more importantly, to think like a commoner?

Recently Bollier gave a lecture in Athens about the emerging commons economy in Greece post collapse.

Here is a link to the English lecture.

And here is link to Bollier’s blog.


reinventing the commons, montague, ny, jan 20

posted November 19, 2016

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Reinventing the Commons:
Social Ecosystems for 
Local Stewardship & Planetary Survival

A Friday evening public talk and Saturday one-day workshop
With David Bollier and Dave Jacke
Montague Common Hall (“Grange”), 34 Main St., Montague, MA 01351

Friday, January 20, 20177-9 PM, $10 @ door or in advance.
Saturday, Jan 21, 2017, 8:30-5, $85-125, includes Friday evening and a soup lunch.  Preregistration required.

Sponsored by Dynamics Ecological Design.
For more information and to register:
davej@edibleforestgardens.com
603-831-1298

To register: 

(more…)


eeee, acequias! our land symposium, northern NM, nov. 9-17

posted October 13, 2016

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OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons

A Symposium about land transition, continuity, and commons.

NOVEMBER 9-17th 2016
Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico

Films. Talks. Exhibit. Acequia Walk.

  • Can our regions shift towards food sovereignty?

    Can our agrarian systems become more harmonious with their wild habitat?

    Can we maintain our traditional commons?

The complete program, speakers bios, schedule and locations are all on the website www.agrariantrust.org/2016symposium (or scroll down to see the full schedule of events)

You can learn about the work of the speakers at the event’s facebook page, where we’ve posted videos, articles, and links.

Speakers include:  Mary Wood, Ruth Breach, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Sylvia Rodriguez, Allyson Siwik, Tezozomoc, Eric Holt-Gimenez, Miguel Santiestevan, Devon Pina, Stanley Crawford, and Alex Pino.

Artists include: Sharon Steward, Kim Stringfellow, Emily Volger, Ildi Carlise-Cummings, Kaitlin Bryson, Nancy Dewhurst, Erin Fussell, Bill Gilbert, Andrea Gohl, Ryan Henel, Catherine Harris, Jeanette Hart-Mann, Cecilia McKinnon, Sarah Molina, Hollis Moore, Hamshya Rajkumar, Kacie Smith, Molly Zimmer, Rachel Zollinger, and more!

OUR LAND 2 has a focus on the lessons of the acequia irrigation commons, a 400 year old system that supports dryland agriculture.


Agrarian Trust Symposium speaker Kim Stringfellow’s cool ass project!

posted July 5, 2016

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The Mojave Project is really just kind of the bomb-diggety. But don’t take our word for it: to learn more, we recommend this absolutely gorgeous video. The project is an “experimental transmedia documentary led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.” Browse the current projects here.

And while we’re talking about the Mojave Project, they’re asking you to
SAVE THE DATE!
WHAT: We pleased to send you this SAVE THE DATE announcement about our autumn program OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons, a series of talks, exhibits and happenings to advance the broadening discourse on land commons and farmland futures.

WHERE: New Mexico! Most events Free and open to the public.

WHEN: November 9-17th in close association with the Quivira Coalition and Biodynamic Association annual conferences, Agrarian Trust invites you to join us in fine company  to approach topics of Public Trust, Acequia traditions and commons culture, emergent urban commons, water enclosures and new topographics; through lectures, documentary films, open archive exhibits and an walk along an Acequia irrigation ditch, flowing continuously for four centuries.

WHO: Mary Wood, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Tezozomoc, Devon Pena, Ruth Breach, Stanley Crawford, Wes Jackson, Emily Vogler, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Eric Holt Gimenez, Kate Levy… and more

 


greenhorns releases: MANIFESTA!

posted May 3, 2016

We are so proud of this awesome collaboration. If you’ve been wondering how a maritime art stunt fits into the mission of an organization that supports farmers (I mean, talk about your landlubbers!), this publication is for you! Manifesta lays out the story, history, discourse, and activism behind the Maine Sail Freight project last summer! The un-monograph is a fun and galvanizing read, and we think it is going to make a real believer out of you!

This is a story about a group of young farmers staging a pageant-like protest about the terms of trade in our agricultural economy, and the nature of transportation and exchange within that model.

It’s an elaborate stunt, invoking colonial history and the maritime ex- traction economy of coastal Maine as a platform for discourse on a more regional, more prosperous, and more diverse food economy for the future.

We claim the ocean as an ally and a commons—a venue to imagine what a world where 60% of the retail price goes to the farmer, and view- point from which to watch the farmers of the region operate, and co-oper- ate to circulate wealth and add value. We raise a flag for food sovereignty on the mast of our sail boat.

We are not content to labor where 70% of the agricultural work is performed by those without citizenship. We are not content to operate
in a high-volume, low-value commodity extraction economy. We are not content to be silent while our nation negotiates yet more free trade agree- ments freeing only those at the top of the capitalist slag heap and chaining the rest of us to their terms.

This project is our retort!


1700 hectares of public land

posted July 6, 2013

Land Trusts Across the Pond

from The Agrarian Trust

July 1, 2013

A trust for public land in France:

Terre de Liens is a civil society organization created in 2003 to address the difficulties faced by organic and peasant farmers in securing agricultural land. Land prices are high and land market so competitive that access to land has become a major bottleneck for farmers seeking new farms or additional land to maintain their current activities.

Terre de liens first supported collective ownership schemes, wherein farmers received contributions from their kin, consumers or local community to set up an investment business to buy their land. Since 2007, Terre de liens has also directly acquired farmland, which it holds in perpetuity for the sake of current and future generations. Terre de liens’ land is let to farmers who undertake to farm organically or biodynamically or who are peasant farmers committed to respecting the environment.

Continue reading.

Terre de Liens’  site. 


renewing the commons blog

posted December 16, 2010

Check out our friend Connor Stedman’s blog, Renewing the Commons

My name is Connor Stedman.  I’m a permaculture teacher and designer, based mostly in the Northeast USA but exploring throughout the continent from time to time.  I also mentor people (mostly adults, sometimes kids) in wilderness skills and knowledge of place.  I have other passions around communication, leadership, and healing.  I’m involved in a variety of organizations and initiatives, some of which you can read about here.