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Re: Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change

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  • Daniel
    One thing people do not realize is that almost all natural grasslands are not nearly as natural as one would suspect. In that book from Lowdermilk that I
    Message 1 of 112 , Mar 17, 2013
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      One thing people do not realize is that almost all 'natural' grasslands are not nearly as natural as one would suspect.

      In that book from Lowdermilk that I mentioned earlier, he goes on to describe remains of ancient foundries found on the coast of the Arabian peninsula. The bottom of which was filled with tons and tons of wood ash; cedar ash specifically. So much so that this could not possibly have been transported from elsewhere, with the conclusion that there were clearly cedar forests on the Arabian peninsula only circa 5000 years ago.

      Then there is the evidence that the Native Americans deliberately burned the grassy plains (especially on the eastern side) to prevent tree cover from coming back. I forgot where I read this; will look it up again in my library.

      Throughout history, civilization and ecosystem destruction have gone hand in hand.


      More on Savory's ideas. A problem in many indigenous cultures (that he will face were he to expand the application of his technique) is that most people derive their societal status from the size of their herd.
      This ego-identification with herd size is so ingrained that it is very unlikely that people will accept a centrally managed herd, that is not 'their own'. I do not know if he has addressed this issue already, or not. But is seems like a paramount obstacle to overcome. But it definitely would be very good to overcome this.


      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...> wrote:
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      > Mike,
      > Thanks for that pointer, it looks like the grass lands. I remember some where Fukuoka san mentioning the same thing about California where he could feel the desert approaching.  I think here also the grass (foxtail grass ??) takes over and wipes out all the vegetation and establishes as the monocrop. But I never thought, there is a possibility that finally the monocrop also looses the ground, gets wiped out !!!
      > Here are 2 references, where stopping grazing has regenerated the forest. The third one is reviving a forest, but he had planted trees by his own effort and after a while, with the help of birds, forest regenerated.
      > In the 2nd case, they could revive a stream which had gone dry....
      > 1) http://www.navadarshanam.org/articles/2004/07/augmenting_ecor.html2) http://saranghills.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ILEA-Newsletter-ARticle.jpg3) http://www.theweekendleader.com/page.php?id=248&title=Green-Dreams&h=271
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      > Regards,Nandan
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      > --- On Sun, 3/17/13, trenthillsmike <trenthillsca@...> wrote:
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      > From: trenthillsmike <trenthillsca@...>
      > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
      > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Sunday, March 17, 2013, 2:54 PM
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      > Nandan,
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      > I'm not sure that it's purely climate related so much as it its biome related, specifically grasslands. If you look at the case studies map - http://www.savoryinstitute.com/research-and-case-studies/, the examples are mostly grasslands. Clicking on any of the examples on the map gives you the story for that example. The details make for fascinating reads.
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      > Can you point me to examples where stopping grazing has revived the land? I'm not disputing what you say but just trying to learn.
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      > Regards,
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      > Mike
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      > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@> wrote:
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      > So my conclusions are...
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      > -  Allan Savory's Holistic management method works for him in that climate-  There are other possible methods other than Holistic Management which nobody has    proven-  There is proven method that stopping cattle grazing will revive the land, which is proven in other climates
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      > The web page says - The animals are herded in tight groups in relatively large numbers, confined to small paddocks (pastures), having intense but brief impact on the land (several hours to a few days). They eat the grasses or forbs available, the more diverse the better (Provenza 2007). Usually, with proper planning, there will be something for the animals to eat, only rarely will it be necessary to supplement their diets with other feed. The desired plants that are eaten are carefully and continually observed for signs of overgrazing (defined as when a plant that has been bitten severely in the growing season gets bitten severely again while using energy it has taken from its crown, stem bases, or roots to reestablish leaf it has been overgrazed). As mentioned earlier, an essential elements of Holistic Management, is the feedback loop, that is, Plan (and assume that original plan may have been wrong) - Monitor - Control - Replan.
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      > During their first impact on degraded soils the animals break the soil cap with their hooves, fertilize it with urine and dung rich in gut bacteria, and trample plant matter into the soil surface, including dead grasses which interfere with new growth. This disturbance stimulates soil-life activity by circulating oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases, by providing nutrients, by allowing penetration of water (Weber 2011) and by providing land cover, to minimize or eliminate bare ground (Naeth 1991). Special attention is paid to ground cover because bare ground is how soils are lost to the wind and the rain; bare ground is solar energy lost to living things.
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      > Regards,Nandan
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    • trenthillsmike
      Not only does it retain moisture but the mulch rots down into compost and improves fertility. I think that feeding the soil is a much better idea than feeding
      Message 112 of 112 , Jun 16, 2013
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        Not only does it retain moisture but the mulch rots down into compost and improves fertility. I think that feeding the soil is a much better idea than feeding the plants. We've been adding plants that mine minerals (lambsquarter, pigweed, yarrow, stinging nettle, red clover, Dutch white clover, etc), attract pollinators all through the growing season, attract predatory insects, confuse pests. Our preference is for perennials or self-seeding annuals and biennials. And we've stopped mowing the orchard although I do selective scything to suppress plants that we don't want. We're very early in the process but we can see some results - https://picasaweb.google.com/PortagePerennials/HolisticOrchard#5888913239729330466

        Regards,
        Mike

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...> wrote:
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        > Adding 6 inch mulch layer around young trees to make them survive summer is an interesting thing. Planning to try this for the mango trees. Last summer was very severe and lost some of the trees. 
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        > Regards,
        > Nandan
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