My heart lies with nature, which is a huge reason why we moved to Portugal. The rural landscapes here are far less industrialised than the UK and still full of wildlife. Within this patchwork of small-scale farmers, our ambitions, like many others, is to build and create a sustainable life. Portugal provides lots of opportunities for those with similar dreams and we are building contacts as we settle in this beautiful country.
Within this context, and taking in another significant interest of mine, is the exploration of what can be achieved when permaculture meets technology. Not necessarily natural bedfellows, there are however great opportunities to diversify rural incomes, strengthen food networks, retain heritage and natural capital and potentially reverse the trend of depopulation.
We are fundraising in Bitcoin (BTC) here: https://tallyco.in/s/daahxi/ and ETH is coming soon (our Fiat fundraiser was pulled because we mentioned blockchain – naughty!). All funds will be used to develop a demonstration Food Forest and a national Rural Tech Network. From our Food Forest base we will run workshops, public learning opportunities and develop other ideas as we grow, for example a nursery and heritage seed centre. Our overarching ambitions are to deliver the following:
- Build a strong, diverse Network of producers and related organisations to share knowledge, learning and challenges. By organising at a national level, Network members will be able to better coordinate between each other, share their success and explore new opportunities.
- Creating a working Food Forest, combining permaculture and regenerative agroforestry – this will be a space for the Network to come together and for wider public learning and research.
- Explore the challenges of climate change, resilient food systems, biodiversity loss and regenerative agriculture through peer-to-peer learning, expert training and action research.
- Onboard villages and support technological advancement – provide training for technology and projects, buy infrastructure (computers, wifi hubs, etc) to ensure access and engagement where necessary.
- Support the development of rural, hi-tech hubs – explore the transition towards smart-farming, encouraging a new generation of food producers and building resilient food networks.
We unashamedly come from an environmental background, and have necessarily learnt to evaluate nature and landscape in monetary terms. We believe that by exploring the opportunities of technology, and taking these directly to the communities who will benefit, the Network can support various ambitions; promote regenerative agriculture to provide a wider variety of crop types, enhance spaces for wildlife, deliver a vibrant and diversified rural economy, encourage more young people into rural life through greater access and involvement with technology, and more that we don’t even know yet! The power of the Network will be in bringing together a wide variety of voices, sharing stories and learning together.
UPDATE @ 24/03/2022 – We are happy to announce the support of the Minga Cooperative (https://mingamontemor.pt/) in the development of this project. Minga bring seven years worth of experience, peer support, learning and networking. Already discussed, is how any network can provide incubation expertise for new cooperatives, such as business planning, legal advice and product and packaging design. FuturEcoLogic will be helping to support their inaugural conference planned for June 2022.
Our purpose will be to ensure that the Network can explore all these opportunities and more, collaborate effectively and have access to shared knowledge, skills and information resources. Read more by downloading the Business Plan below.
Sign up to the network mailing list here: https://mailchi.mp/12cef08a0d5b/futurecologic-signup