Monday, 8 January 2018

Anti-harrassment policies in permaculture

The World Needs an Anti-Harassment Movement: So Does Permaculture.

The past few weeks have been flooded with the news about Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing women he worked with. And millions of women have come forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment and sexual violence with the hashtag #metoo. Clearly, the implementation and enforcement of anti-harassment policies is overdue in the world. This is also true in permaculture. Here’s why... read the full article

Monday, 25 December 2017

15 new research fellowships (Opportunity)



15 Early Career Research Fellowships
 
RECOMS – Building Resourceful and Resilient Communities through Adaptive and Transformative Environmental Practice – H2020 MSCA-ITN
 
Please find below links to the pre-announcement for the 15 Early Stage Researcher Fellows. I would be grateful if you could assist with publicising this announcement amongst your respective networks. The positions will be open for applications from mid-January 2018.
 
 

Research theme cluster 1: Unlocking and Empowering

Research theme cluster 2: Adapting and Transforming

Research theme cluster 3: Connecting and Collaborating

 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Effectiveness of a permaculture education project in Butula, Kenya  

In the 1980s, agricultural development organizations began promoting permaculture through training programmes in the developing world. Few assessments have measured the effectiveness of such projects. Here we surveyed and interviewed small-scale farmers to assess the perceived impacts of a Canadian permaculture project in Butula, Western Kenya. Two types of projects are evaluated and compared: community projects (CPs) at six primary schools, and an intensive two-week permaculture design certification (PDC) programme. Our results suggest that both PDC and CP participants felt that they had benefited from the projects. However, PDC participants developed a more comprehensive understanding of permaculture, felt empowered and frequently related permaculture to their own traditional cultural values whereas CP participants often misunderstood permaculture, felt frustrated by the limited immediate economic benefits and frequently contrasted permaculture against traditional cultural values. This study emphasizes the importance of direct, reciprocal communication between NGOs and project participants for fostering feelings of autonomy and competence.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Permaculture fungi boost phosphorous uptake (journal)

Application of Mycorrhiza and Soil from a Permaculture System Improved Phosphorus Acquisition in Naranjilla

Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) is a perennial shrub plant mainly cultivated in Ecuador, Colombia, and Central America where it represents an important cash crop. Current cultivation practices not only cause deforestation and large-scale soil degradation but also make plants highly susceptible to pests and diseases. The use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can offer a possibility to overcome these problems. In this study, the impact of AMF inoculation on growth and nutrition parameters of naranjilla has been assessed. For inoculation three European reference AMF strains and soils originating from three differently managed naranjilla plantations in Ecuador (conventional, organic, and permaculture) have been used. The growth response experiment has shown that two of the three reference AMF strains, a mixture of the three and soil from a permaculture site led to significantly better acquisition of phosphorus (up to 104%) compared to uninoculated controls. These results suggest that the use of AMF strains and local soils as inoculants represent a valid approach to improve nutrient uptake efficiency of naranjilla and consequently to reduce inputs of mineral fertilizers.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Sustainable World Radio: Soil Food Web (podcast)

Sustainable World Radio: The Universe Beneath Our Feet: The Soil Food Web

Episode 128: Dr. Elaine Ingham of Soil Foodweb Inc. guides us on this podcast journey into the world of soil. The meeting place of atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere, soil contains vast numbers of species. Like most places where edges of different worlds meet, the soil is a dynamic interface. Fertile soil is alive with the biodiversity of a thriving forest; complex ecosystems connecting, growing, living, co-existing, and dying. In this episode we learn about the cast of creatures that comprise the Soil Food Web, including Bacteria, Fungi, Nematodes, Protozoa, and Arthropods; and the many ecosystem services that they provide


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Glyphosate in European topsoils (journal)

Distribution of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in agricultural topsoils of the European Union

The occurrence of glyphosate residues in European water bodies is rather well documented whereas only few, fragmented and outdated information is available for European soils. We provide the first large-scale assessment of distribution (occurrence and concentrations) of glyphosate and its main metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in EU agricultural topsoils, and estimate their potential spreading by wind and water erosion. Glyphosate and/or AMPA were present in 45% of the topsoils collected, originating from eleven countries and six crop systems, with a maximum concentration of 2 mg kg− 1. Several glyphosate and AMPA hotspots were identified across the EU. Soil loss rates (obtained from recently derived European maps) were used to estimate the potential export of glyphosate and AMPA by wind and water erosion. The estimated exports, result of a conceptually simple model, clearly indicate that particulate transport can contribute to human and environmental exposure to herbicide residues. Residue threshold values in soils are urgently needed to define potential risks for soil health and off site effects related to export by wind and water erosion.

 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

City region food systems (book)

City Region Food Systems and Food Waste Management

This book describes the results of 13 case studies on city region food systems and food waste management. It provides lessons learned on the institutionalisation of city region food policies and programmes; provisioning of national and legal frameworks embedding city region food systems in broader legislation, on strengthening of coordination and collaboration across horizontal and vertical government levels, and on design of specific programmes and policies for sustainable city region food systems.