I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Rewilding Europe  RSS feed

 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
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Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
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Just read an article in the GEO magazine about Rewilding Europe. Europe's population gets older every day and when mankind leaves an area there is room for wild life!

Here two links I have to share:

http://rewildingeurope.com/

http://www.staatsbosbeheer.nl/English/Oostvaardersplassen.aspx

Both sites are in English. I think they are worth a discussion!
 
Dale Hodgins
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    Reforestation projects in Scotland, England and Wales have been protested. People don't want to lose their"natural"heath and grasslands. Of course these environments aren't what is natural to the area but rather they are the result of 6000 years of grazing and agriculture. Most of the British Isles were naturally covered in heavy forest.

     If we were to cover all of the mountains in British Columbia and Washington with sheep and goats for a couple thousand years we would end up with barren heath and moor lands similar to the Scottish countryside. And it's quite likely that people would begin to think that this is normal and natural.
 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
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Yes, predators kept the herbivors in check. A landscape without predators is likely to be all-grassland. But a big forest is the lack in numbers of big herbivors. In this reservat "Oosvaardersplassen" groups of the size of 600 red deer are normal. They are herding animals and they aren't shy. They are trotting around like sheep.
These guys from Rewilding Europe challenge the theory of Europe being covered with a thick forest.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Who gets to choose what Europe "should" look like - that is, what period in history or pre-history is the "real" original Europe and who decides?

Article contemplating what the "real" Americas looked like, and when they might have looked different:  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/2445/
 
Kirk Hutchison
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In my obnoxious opinion, it really doesn't matter what it would look like if left to its own devices. What matters is how to get the maximum biodiversity and productivity. Which usually turns out to be a mixture of forest and grassland (or wetland, in really wet areas). Which seems to be what those people are up to.
 
osker brown
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Who gets to choose what Europe "should" look like - that is, what period in history or pre-history is the "real" original Europe and who decides?

Article contemplating what the "real" Americas looked like, and when they might have looked different:  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/2445/


Thanks for posting that, it's a really great article.  It's taking me awhile to understand how to respond to the knowledge of myself as a member of the keystone species.  I was exposed to this concept about a year ago, and I'm still trying to understand what I can do.  It seems that all of the permaculture I have seen is based on a "homestead" mentality, whereas to enact our role in a healthy ecosystem we need to be using these principles over large land areas, which is currently being done only by industrial corporations, with some efforts by "conservation" groups.  Anyways, thanks again.

So has anyone read the Oxford press book mentioned in that article?  http://www.amazon.com/Cultivated-Landscapes-America-Geographical-Environmental/dp/0199250715/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314583518&sr=8-1

Sounds really interesting but out of my budget.

peace
 
Amedean Messan
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I wish there would more likely be such a thing, but in reality it means immigrants from third world countries with booming populations.
 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
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H Ludi Tyler wrote: Article contemplating what the "real" Americas looked like, and when they might have looked different:  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/2445/


Wow, very interesting article in every aspect, Ludi. I like it.
 
John Polk
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Thank you Ludi.  I read that article nearly 10 years ago, and I am glad that you "re-found" it.

Mankind began reshaping the continents and environment around 10,000 years ago, and nobody can turn back the clock.  All that we can hope for is that our, and future generations can learn from the mistakes of the past, and go forward with minimal impact.

The prairie states were once lush forests/savannas.  If we were to just walk away from them and leave them alone for 200 years, they would still not be what they were a thousand years ago before the aboriginal peoples slashed/burned them.

As far as Europe reforesting their lands goes, they would need to make huge sacrifices in their lifestyles.  Less than 25% of their diet is native to the continent...actually, probably less than 5-10%.

Mankind needs to do what we need to do, but we can be a lot less destructive in our methods.
 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
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I wouldn't go that far, John. The production deficite in acres in Europe is double the size of Germany's agricultural land. Europe depends on imports - that's true. But going back to native diet sounds a bit radical to me. What does it mean anyway? Stop eating potatoes, tomatoes and corn? It's like telling an American to stop eating wheat in the form of bread, which is native to Euroasia...

No, seriously. What do you mean with it?

Young people are moving in the cities and the old ones are getting to old to manage land. The rural landscape in Europe is emptying over time. Europe is the only continent where more people die than are born. This is an advantage for nature. There is room for wildlife in Europe even though we don't know much about "our" wildlife. I never heard of Wisent before! It's a european Bison which in nature became extinct in 1927. All the 2000 Wisents in Europe are descendents to 12 Wisents that survived in zoos. Wildhorses, wolves, lynx, wild boars. Overall big wild animals gained in numbers by 34% last year.

There is already so much going on in Europe. Rivers get terraces so that fish like the sturgeon can get up the stream to lay their eggs. Sturgeons lived together with dinosaurs 200 million years ago. Scientists already located the river arms with the most suitable qualities for sturgeons. There is a masterplan from the EU to cleanse the rivers of Europe.

Germany produced over 20% of its electricity by renewable sources in the first part of 2011. Everyone said it is impossible or that the industry will suffer...
 
Michael Radelut
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The production deficite in acres in Europe is double the size of Germany's agricultural land. Europe depends on imports - that's true.

Mmmh, where did you find that deficit size ? Europe may depend on imports now, but it also exports vast quantities of food, and wastes its humanure resources.


But going back to native diet sounds a bit radical to me. What does it mean anyway? Stop eating potatoes, tomatoes and corn? It's like telling an American to stop eating wheat in the form of bread, which is native to Euroasia...

No, seriously. What do you mean with it?

That, seriously, is just very sensible advice - tomatoes are okay for most people;
for the other foodstuff you mention see Gary Taubes' most wonderfully comprehensive book 'Why We Get Fat - And What to Do About It'.
 
Tyler Ludens
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John Polk wrote:

The prairie states were once lush forests/savannas.  If we were to just walk away from them and leave them alone for 200 years, they would still not be what they were a thousand years ago before the aboriginal peoples slashed/burned them.


It's quite likely human activity influenced the prairies farther back than 1000 years.  The prairies seem to have developed in concert with the activities of humans and bison.  Some people might consider the activity of bison to be "natural" and  the activity of humans to be "unnatural"  but it's probably more helpful, in my opinion, to see if specific human activity is beneficial or harmful to overall life.  The actions of the prairie humans working with bison seemed to have created one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, which european humans subsequently diminished.  Certainly in my region, which used to be prairie, the activity of european humans has diminished the productivity enormously though the land is now densely forested with oak and juniper.  I don't know how we could bring back the bison, but it might be possible to use cattle to emulate bison behavior, though this would require more cooperation between large numbers of landowners than seems likely in this age of selfish behavior. 
 
Michael Radelut
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
It's quite likely human activity influenced the prairies farther back than 1000 years.  The prairies seem to have developed in concert with the activities of humans and bison.  Some people might consider the activity of bison to be "natural" and  the activity of humans to be "unnatural"  but it's probably more helpful, in my opinion, to see if specific human activity is beneficial or harmful to overall life.  The actions of the prairie humans working with bison seemed to have created one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, which european humans subsequently diminished.  Certainly in my region, which used to be prairie, the activity of european humans has diminished the productivity enormously though the land is now densely forested with oak and juniper.  I don't know how we could bring back the bison, but it might be possible to use cattle to emulate bison behavior, though this would require more cooperation between large numbers of landowners than seems likely in this age of selfish behavior.   


Sorry to be so brief, but:

http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=9808.msg89728#msg89728
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6HGKSvjk5Q
 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
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Thanks for your response, hügel.

hügel wrote:
Mmmh, where did you find that deficit size ? Europe may depend on imports now, but it also exports vast quantities of food, and wastes its humanure resources.

It's common knowledge that Europe is the biggest importer of food worldwide. Mostly from s.c. third world countries. But I'm not sure where I read it. You can look at the data from eurostat though if you're intrested in this sort of stuff: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/product_details/publication?p_product_code=KS-32-11-743


That, seriously, is just very sensible advice - tomatoes are okay for most people;
for the other foodstuff you mention see Gary Taubes' most wonderfully comprehensive book 'Why We Get Fat - And What to Do About It'.

Thanks for your advise. Corn and potatoes are great and don't make you fat. 100g potatoes = 70 kcal, 100g pommes frites = 250 kcal. It's simple mathematic: Eat far more calories than you need to maintain yourself and you get fat. Eat the wrong stuff, e.g. pommes frites instead of unprocessed potatoes and you get fat pretty easy.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Used to be here were only dense forests along the rivers and in steep canyons.  The rest was grassland dotted with clumps of trees, but mostly lots and lots of grass.  There are even photos from back  when it looked so different.  Wagons going to the city from town could be seen for days moving away across the grassy hills. But most folks probably think how it looks now is how it always looked (except they're confused about the juniper, which a lot of folks think is non-native)
 
Michael Radelut
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You can look at the data from eurostat though if you're intrested in this sort of stuff: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/product_details/publication?p_product_code=KS-32-11-743

Thanks for the link; I'll try to look it up.

Thanks for your advise. Corn and potatoes are great and don't make you fat. 100g potatoes = 70 kcal, 100g pommes frites = 250 kcal. It's simple mathematic: Eat far more calories than you need to maintain yourself and you get fat. Eat the wrong stuff, e.g. pommes frites instead of unprocessed potatoes and you get fat pretty easy.

Would you consider reading the book by Taubes ? I promise you'll be amazed at how different those interconnections really are.
This book is one of the most important books of the 21st century - and I'm not saying this lightly.

And btw:
There's no need for any preparation; just buy it, take it home and start reading; it'll answer every question you'll come up with along the way.

 
Michael Radelut
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Used to be here were only dense forests along the rivers and in steep canyons.  The rest was grassland dotted with clumps of trees, but mostly lots and lots of grass.  There are even photos from back  when it looked so different.  Wagons going to the city from town could be seen for days moving away across the grassy hills. But most folks probably think how it looks now is how it always looked (except they're confused about the juniper, which a lot of folks think is non-native)


That's a fun one:
Round here people are looking at a very similar plant - Ilex (holly) - that'll form a very strange sort of understory to a beech forest; it looks for all money like a non-native. Yet when you look it up it turns out that the holly once formed the rather short overstory of an open savanna, with the sorry remnants of beeches that were constantly gnawed on by herds of large herbivores forming the understory.
 
Richard Kastanie
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Charles C. Mann, The author of the article Ludi posted later wrote a full length book on the subject, also titled 1491. It's a very interesting read.
 
Gravity is a harsh mistress. But this tiny ad is pretty easy to deal with:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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