Sol Nascente: A New Forest Commons Diego Reymondez please, refrain from doing *any* kind of formatting (underlining, indentation for paragraphs etc.) that does not relate to the semantics of the text (i.e. doing stuff to make it 'look good'). This has to be actually manually removed before doing *actual* web or print formatting and- hence - is a nuisance. So marking something a level 1, 2, 3 header or using emphasis is fine, but underlining headers is a pain.
The sheer number of interactions that can exist within a polyculture bring with it a lifelong search for the healthiest. And in the same way that our health is improved by tending to the innate needs of our body, that is, getting enough minerals in our diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sun, so is a plant’s health improved by caring for its innate needs.
Once we see our economic health as tied to the forest’s health, this directs us to look at all the ways in which what we grow can be tied into local and foreign communities. For example, if someone in our pilot’s town produces kombucha using a recipe of a dozen plants they don’t grow, we can create a relationship that assures that we both come out winning by growing the species they need while incorporating them into our own plan for regeneration. To that end, we’ll prioritize partnerships with local organic producers.
During this time we’ll investigate how to maintain our quality while expanding the production of each individual forest. First and foremost, we’ll do this with focused care for our natural ecosystem, as a healthy forest is also a productive one.
It is a wonderful coincidence that mature forests produce more food and material than any other ecosystem, while also making us feel at home. Why then doesn't our food spring from land that feels the rhythms of the heart and challenges the intellect? Why do we still have workers instead of caretakers who explore the hidden ecosystems of our newly emerging forests?
Diego Reymondez It is almost impossible at this point, for me, to figure out the structure of this text. Making it VERY hard to read. The problem with Word, is that it's documents end up with lots of formatting all but aiding readability, which subsequently needs to be removed before any kind of publication. Lastly: NEVER, EVER, manually make a heading bold or underline. Just use styles in Word (i.e. mark it as a heading) and then later change the style, when necessary.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could mark headings - and only headings - as such. As you might discover, Hackpad automatically creates an index on the right - which makes the article lots easier to read and navigate.
Also, having the structure of your text clear makes it easier to see which parts still needs to be done and which are finished.
Practical note: to make a first level heading, start with #<space>My Heading, second level heading ## etc. etc. For example:
The following is a guide explaining generally our methods and why we function the way that we do. They are by no means exhaustive as every piece of land must be worked according to its own set of peculiarities. They are simply general patterns of work that will conform to most of the pieces of land we work.
This guide could easily be a few hundred pages, but what is missing must fall to the personal knowledge and creativity of whoever decides to undertake this gorgeous route of helping to create forests.
Though these methods, with a few revisions, can be replicated almost anywhere on Earth they are thought out and implemented with the terrain and climate of Northern Portugal and Galicia, an autonomous region of Spain directly over Portugal’s northern border, in mind.
We take these regions together because they share both climate and most of the methods used in managing the woods.
This specific part of the Iberian peninsula are hugely important for 2 reasons.
1. The immense potential for forest growth.
Half of all wood produced in Spain comes from this one region of Galicia. Most of it in the form of pine and eucalyptus which only function in growing fast, extracting resources from a depleting soil, and degrading the landscape.
With water pumping out of every hillside, and average temperatures hovering between 10-20 degrees C year round, it is almost never too hot or too cold or too dry to not have trees growing. And the variety of trees that can grow here, at 41 degrees latitude is astounding. Avocados when well protected grow through the winter.
2. The danger posed to these ecosystems by an increasing incidence of fire.
Every year fires become larger, more and more prevalent along the whole coast. Lands which have existed stably for thousands, if not millions of years, without such large fires are quickly burning down and will require a largescale change in management if we’re to save one of Europe’s main forests.
We are in need of appropriate methods that aim to trap water within the soil, and ecosystems and to improve the soil which has been gradually lost by short sighted agricultural and forest practices over the past 6k years.
It’s apparent in Norther Portugal and Galicia that any terrain left unto itself becomes forest, and while we compete with this reality we are losing time, money and energy in unnecessary interventions. Which is why we work with analogue forestry, which incorporates an ingenious use of three dimensional spaces to harness to its fullest potential the energy provided by the sun, and the natural successions nature follows in reaching a climax forest.
All of our actions facilitate a holistic and integral usage of the land from start to finish and aim to protect and improve the soil. Not only will we change our relationship with the process of designing and working the land, but we aim to establish a new precedent in which there is a perpetual improvement to every piece of land we touch. In practice this means that after any harvest a land should be in better condition than after its initial planting, and the previous years harvest.
The methods we use thus come in 3 stages.
Phase 1 – Planting a forest scaffolding
Phase 2 – Establishing a Productive forest
Phase 3 – Clearing away the scaffolding
First Intervention – Phase 1 – Planting a forest scaffolding
1. First Design
Typically when one plants a piece of land, one starts directly planting the trees that will eventually be the desired product to be harvested. And in some pieces of land where the soil is in good condition this is still possible. But when one takes into account the way in which agriculture and forest management has treated the soil over the last ten-thousand years, soils have been degraded to a fraction of their initial fertility. Planting trees that require fertility to survive without plague is almost like playing the lottery.
The scaffolding will operate as a wet nurse for a few years, feeding, and protecting the productive trees that come later from the elements.
Eventually they will train them to grow upwards and be slowly removed as they’re no longer needed.
Plant as much as possible, there will be almost uniform growth to begin. Until different trees begin to outpace and leave us with a few undulations of the canopy, that play with the sun’s energy.
This is why we have resorted to planting trees like Eucalyptus and Pine (here in Galicia and northern Portugal) which grow straight, fast and without much fertility. But they also continue the trend of soil depletion and what little fertility the soil has is cut, harvested and sent abroad in the form of cheap wood. The lack of respect or the soil leaves it uncovered for the precious minerals to volatilize into the air, at the mercy of the sun who’s rays kill the microorganisms of the soil who are used to existing in the cool shade of a forest and are so important for the fertility and health of the system. Without roots to hold the soil when it rains causing erosion to wash away the precious layer of topsoil that still exists.
This cycle is very visible across the whole of Portugal as the tops of a majority of mountains are now only rock, because the soil has washed away. Fruit and nut trees planted on these weakened soils quickly disease, or fall during storms without sufficiently deep soil in which to anchor themselves, and have to be cleared away.
This is a shame because healthy soils and ecosystems support and create healthy trees.
And a healthy soil can be created with our help. This is why the whole of the first phase of our model is directed at the regeneration of soil and the ecosystem, before any productive species are introduced into the system.
The first phase in our plant is to create a new soil as quickly as we can.
Using fast growing indigenous pioneer trees plant many more trees than will reasonably grow on the terrain. There is no limit to the amount, but will condition the amount of maintenance that it requires to move from stage 1 to stage 2. As the more trees to plant means more trees to maintain, cut, and then chip.
Alder, Elderberry, Willow, Hazelnut, and Poplars(populous alba and populous nigra)
The purpose of these trees is not only to trap carbon in the soil, but to establish shade which is very important for making sure that humidity remains in the soil, even during drought conditions. The presence of tree roots also establish relationships with countless soil microorganisms that will work with us to support the productive trees we will plant in the future, the main function of the microorganisms in the soil will be to find and move the minerals in the soil into direct contact with the productive tree roots and aid their growth.
The design will incorporate several technologies
This design will take into account a history of the land as well as a qualitative assessment of the surrounding land.
Sol Nascente is a regenerative initiative that longs to reforest the whole of northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain by proving that simple forests, which are both ecologically sound and wildly productive, can outcompete and replace industrial agriculture.
Effective Microorganisms (EM) are mixed cultures of beneficial naturally-occurring organisms that can be applied as inoculants to increase the microbial diversity of soil ecosystem. They consist mainly of the photosynthesizing bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, actinomycetes and fermenting fungi. These microorganisms are physiologically compatible with one another and can coexist in liquid culture.