Archives for the month of: July, 2014

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to read about the benefits of forest bathing visit:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793341/

 

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http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/Main/Research/ResearchUM/FirsteverPublicTastingOfLabgrownCulturedBeefBurger.htm

http://waag.org/en/news/vitro-meat-cookbook-development

http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Expertise-Services/Facilities/AlgaePARC.htm

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http://wilde-planten.nl/

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Also, check out “de Keuken van het Ongewenst Dier”

http://www.wherethefoodis.nl/de-keuken-van-het-ongewenste-dier/

http://kvhod.blogspot.nl/

 

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http://kokopelli-semences.fr/

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140307IPR38202/html/MEPs-reject-draft-seed-regulation

http://www.seedvalley.nl/

http://pinto.azurewebsites.net/

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http://www.najk.nl/uploads/media/WiewilernogboereninNederland.pdf

http://www.organic-europe.net/country-info-netherlands.html

http://www.punpunthailand.org/

 

 

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The fruits in the garden are not ripe yet. To get my daily dose of green for health and wellbeing, I just go for a run outside, green is not just processed through the digestive system, but also through the eyes, and other senses. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760412/

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https://www.academia.edu/5334114/Food_scarcity_as_a_trigger_for_civil_unrest

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Support Runners

http://www.tierranativa.org/en/index.php

http://www.carlyleobserver.com/article/20140718/CARLYLE0101/307189990/-1/carlyle/lance-runners-honoured-as-north-american-indigenous-games-are-set-to

http://borderlinesblog.blogspot.nl/2013/06/the-tarahumara-arent-running.html

 

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http://edepot.wur.nl/110211

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http://www.veluwezoom.nl/informatie/kidsengezinnen/index.php

Following the trail I run along a fantastic dune formation, where a crow is perched on a dead tree nearby. Running is such a great way to take in the sounds, smells, and sights, with heightened senses. Not only is this my perception, but it is also likely that your senses may benefit in other ways. A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience reported that running and exercise potentially affect retinal health, in other words, running means seeing better longer. The research was discussed in an article in the New York Times, (march 26, 2014) under the title, “Exercising for Healthier Eyes.” EXERCISE YOUR SENSES can thus be done in multiple ways!

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https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/natuurgebied/de-veluwe

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The garden is open to the public and there are plans to create a new section, growing and showing edible plants. Whether or not these plants can then be sourced on the Veluwe for the dinner plate is not clear yet.

https://www.ivn.nl/afdeling/oost-veluwezoom

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http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/11/organic-food-more-antioxidants-study

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http://www.organic-europe.net/country-info-netherlands.html

While working on farms in Europe, a common question was why Dutch produce was dominating the supermarket, especially with products that are easy to grow –bell peppers in Hungary, tomatoes in Italy– and arguably better tasting when grown locally in those countries.

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In addition to this market domination in produce, the Dutch are also specialized in seed breeding. While most people are familiar with Monsanto and problems of patenting and licensing seeds in the United States, not many know what is happening in the “SEED VALLEY.” While I consider rural heritage in the coming weeks, the role that the Dutch agricultural business plays on the European scene is worth looking into.

http://www.greenportnhn.nl/zaadveredeling-1

http://www.limagrain.nl/web/Algemeen/Bedrijf.htm

For more information  and the Dutch position, revisit Philip Howard’s graph: https://www.msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.html

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In anthropology, we can use the term ‘built environment’ to indicate human intervention in the land, and this can range from ephemeral elements to large urban areas. As a concept it is useful to understand the range of landuse as an integrated whole. At the Biennale, the majority of projects are –still– focused on built environment as buildings. Only in a few cases was the larger landscape /rural region at the forefront.

Cultural heritage and preservation efforts (supported by UNESCO) have also long been dominated by large monuments and sites, but as mentioned in earlier posts, this is changing with the recognition of intangible heritage. Even the upcoming conference of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a professional association dedicated to the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world, is centered on Heritage and Landscape as Human Values. http://florence2014.icomos.org/en Thinking about this is part of my upcoming writing task.

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Leaving Venice today. The visit was short and… well, nice, since cities are not my ‘natural habitat’. Venice of course is an incredible city, founded in the 5th century it became one of the greatest capitals of the medieval world, now enlisted on the UNESCO world heritage list of sites and monuments. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/394. It is under threat, as it is well-known that Venice is sinking, the anthropogenic causes (ground water pumping) have been addressed but natural causes are still at play ,http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130926/srep02710/full/srep02710.html.

Then there is something else. My host lives and works in the center, near Rialto bridge and has a long family history in the city, but these days he feels he is living in a Disney world, in a city frozen in time. Even the Biennale events to him feel more like amusement spectacles than serious art fairs they intended to be…

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Today I have time for a moderate run (2hrs), and explore the labyrinth that is Venice, configured by the flow of its water. As usual, I don’t take any orienteering devices, but a paper map. Venice is nice city to get lost, eventually you will get to the edge, and while ‘running wild’, it is easy to see lesser-known parts of Venice. Running around, I’m contributing to the flow.

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and the well-known, but different time..

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The rest of the day, I get into the spirit of place (also literally: Genius Loci (Spirit of Place) exhibition at Palazzo Franchetti.)

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Before I came to Venice I thought about Modernity and about the new museum I visited in Como recently dedicated to the works of Sant’Elia, who was the star architect of the Futurist Movement. I always loved his drawings, yet glad that the Futurists’ plans for new cities were not realized. I was therefore surprised that in Como there is an impressive – lakseside– war monument designed by Sant’Elia. He died in La Grande Guerra, as the first world war is referred to, especially in Northern Italy, and many war ruins near Trento remind of the fierce battles that took place over the Austrian- Italian border. http://antoniosantelia.org/

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Yesterday, I visited the Arsenale, one of two main venues of the Biennale, which this year is dominated by monditalia, a scan. Taking Italy as a ‘fundamental’ country this exhibition shows 41 architectural case studies of young architects and researchers, spread over the Italian continent, organized geographically from south to north. The Alps are last. The study investigated the mapping of the border across the Alps, and especially its difficulties. These days satellite technologies make mapping easier, however, new challenges arise. The melting of the glaciers make that the surface of the earth across the Alps is changing at rapid rates. Borders have to be newly negotiated.

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Today I travel to Venice, not to farm, but to visit the Architecture Biennale. My interest in architecture is easily explained, as it is the means by which humans organize and mediate space, influencing and/or determining ecological, socio-economic relationships, but I also ENJOY the creative tangible expression of spatial ideas.

More to come…

http://www.labiennale.org/it/architettura/

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Maybe to be expected, but not selected on purpose, the farms I have worked at so far have mostly been run or led by women. In Japan (Okinawa) for instance, the network of farming women is characterized by a sharing of labor, products, produce and socializing. In Italy, it is a little different but the solidarity principle is underpinning a large organization of “Donne in Campo.” (www.donneincampo.it)

The work done by all these women is crucial for future food security (see report “Smallholders, food security, and the environment” IFAD, UNEP 2013). Yet, farmers and women are described by Raj Patel in his book “The Value of Nothing” as two groups whose work is in general the least valued in our current economic system.

http://rajpatel.org/

SUPPORT SUSTAINABILITY – FORWARD – FARMERS / FEMALES

landscape

P.S. incredible view on my run this morning…

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The Commons as a general concept can be difficult to understand, as it is not easily defined. David Bollier describes it as “durable, dynamic sets of social relationships for managing resources – all sorts of resources: digital, urban, natural, indigenous, rural, cultural, scientific…” An important characteristic of the commons is that there is no commons without communing, and this, as Bollier explains, is what sets it apart from a public good. In case of the acequia community, the parciantes are the commoners.

To read a short overview WHAT IS THE COMMONS and why it is important:

http://bollier.org/commons-short-and-sweet

In this overview, Bollier further states that the enclosure of the commons is one of the great unacknowledged problems of our time. This refers to many resources that are increasingly being commodified and commercialized, from classic small-scale commons focused on natural resources, to –recent– digital networks/information, and privatization of water on large scale.

 

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In a western worldview, relationships are often defined as a dichotomy, and so it seems to be with the relationship between forest and field. The traditional Japanese relationship with nature, similar to those of many indigenous cultures around the world, contrasts with the western attitude toward nature that emphasizes opposite interests. Farmers want to cut the forest to create more fields for instance, as they often need more land to stay economically competitive. Treating both forest and field as one system that is going to provide our healthy future food supply may be a better starting point for rural management.

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For some reading on the status of our trees:

The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet, by Jim Robbins

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In this part of the Marche region (Montefeltro), wheat is the dominant grown crop and the clay soil is not particularly suited for growing anything else. But, as a friend of Silvia, who is an expert in medicinal plants, told me, parts of the region are excellent sources for wild flowers and medicinal plants.

http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/esdb_archive/eusoils_docs/other/eur24131.pdf – page 5

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During my travels I notice that many edible wild flowers and plants are widespread globally, but there are cultural differences in the selection of these, both for food and medicinal purposes, and this may also have to do with the variation in flavor in the diet (see post June 23). One man’s weed is another man’s vegetable…