Integral Agroecology

Integral Agroecology: Environmental Design Consulting

Integral agroecology is a whole systems design approach to landscape, food, health and community. Like permaculture, it is adaptable to any scale or scope of project, in almost any context. As a design consultant I take a contextually rooted and participatory approach that facilitates improved growth across soil, crop, field, farm and food system spheres.  However, as Wilber once said, "The map is not the territory"...but in my view good design should get you both. That is the NEO2.0 Integral Agroecology difference.

What is integral agroecology?

  • “ecology of sustainable food systems" (Gliessman)
  • “it has already begun to change the way agriculture is perceived and practiced from scales ranging from the soil food web, to polycultural cropping regimes and the political economy of local food systems” (Toensmeier)
  • “at minimum, agroecological production attempts to bypass the damage done by corporate-led agro-industrial food regimes that control the majority of the agro-food infrastructure”  (Altieri)
  • "Agroecology intentionally pushes positive ecological effects towards greater ecological vibrancy, cleaner more functional hydrology, and more diverse well-rounded fertility including the build up of terrestrial living, transitory and stable carbon content per acre. Agroecology is an active adventure of old, new, and yet to be discovered productive systems, actions and activities that fit local realities and that work in local context.”   (Brady Girt, Wild Commons Agrarian Renaissance)

 

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  • Compared with conventional farming systems, diversified farming systems support substantially greater biodiversity, soil quality, carbon sequestration, and water holding capacity in surface soils, energy-use efficiency and resistance and resilience to climate change. Relative to conventional monocultures, diversified farming systems also enhance control of weeds, diseases, and arthropod pests and they increase pollination services. (“Ecosystem Services in Biologically Diversified versus Conventional Farming Systems” by Kremen and Miles, 2012)
  • Any actual movement towards regenerative systems will still have to be based on a shift to health criteria and on a fundamental respect for biodiversity and cultural diversity as the sources of life and social viability. We need new institutions and technological systems which embody and express this respect and which are not crippled by myths of technological neutrality. Since food and fibre systems are one, if not the major, interface between natural and social systems at all levels, the construction of regenerative food systems is one of the central components for making the transition to a post-fossil-fuel era. (Kenneth Dahlberg, 1994 manifesto in the journal Futures, A Transition from Agriculture to Regenerative Food Systems.)

 

 

Ryan Hayhurst, Farmer/Designer

Landscape Site Plans. Permaculture Design. Ecological Farm Plans. Sustainable Food System Consulting & Education.
Custom growing of organic vegetables and healthy botanicals.

http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/ryan-hayhurst/23/431/a2

For all project inquiries, please use the contact page.